Bible Study – Guarding the Avenues of the Soul

June 13 – 19, 2021

Key Text:

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).

Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 261–268; Testimonies, vol. 8, 312–328.


“The mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that the adversary of souls may suggest.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 460.



1.a. What battle is being waged for the control of our minds? Why is it important to be under the constant control of the Spirit of God? Acts 26:18; Luke 11:24–26.

 Note: “We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world. It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.” The Desire of Ages, 324.

1.b.      What has Satan been doing for the last 6,000 years? Isaiah 14:3–17.

Note: “For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is doing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will. The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women that none but his voice will be heard.” Medical Ministry, 111.



2.a. What choice is every man given? Revelation 3:20; 22:17 (John 7:37); Matthew 16:24.

 Note: “I entreat you to open the door of your heart and let your Saviour in. Give Him the whole heart—that which He has purchased. Ever bear in mind that it is you who must choose. God forces no man. He has chosen you, and engraven your name in the palms of His hands. Will you not give yourself fully to Him?” The Upward Look, 25.

2.b.        What precious hope does the follower of Christ have regarding the final victory over sin? John 16:33, last part; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8.

Note: “Today, Satan has great power in the world. He has been permitted to have proprietorship of this earth for an appointed time. During this period, when iniquity prevails, men and women are given a chance to take sides. In every possible way, Satan tries to make the broad road attractive and the narrow road grievous, humiliating, and objectionable. He lays ingenious plans to allure men and women to indulge appetite. Cheap, unsatisfying pleasures are made all and in all in this degenerate age. Satan throws his glamour about these amusements, which eclipse eternal things. Many will sell their birthright, as did Esau, for trifling consideration … . worldly pleasure will appear more desirable to them than the heavenly birthright.

“But Christ has overcome in our behalf.” The Upward Look, 39.



3.a. Describe the effectiveness of Lucifer’s musical ability in heaven. Ezekiel 28:13.

 Note: “Satan had led the heavenly choir. He had raised the first note; then all the angelic host had united with him, and glorious strains of music had resounded through heaven in honor of God and His dear Son.” The Story of Redemption, 25.

3.b.      Research information indicates that music is a powerful stimulant affecting the whole body through the mind. How can Satan in his fallen state use music to deceive, if possible, even the very elect? Exodus 32:17–19.

Note: “They [the Israelites] ventured upon the forbidden ground, and were entangled in the snare of Satan. Beguiled with music and dancing, and allured by the beauty of heathen vestals, they cast off their fealty to Jehovah.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 454.

“They [young Sabbath-keepers] have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. …

“The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. The instruments of music have taken time which should have been devoted to prayer. Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 497.

“The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation unto Satan.” Messages to Young People, 382.



4.a. Where are we to focus our attention and our thoughts? Colossians 3:1, 2.

 Note: “You should control your thoughts. This will not be an easy task; you cannot accomplish it without close and even severe effort. Yet God requires this of you; it is a duty resting upon every accountable being. You are responsible to God for your thoughts. If you indulge in vain imaginations, permitting your mind to dwell upon impure subjects, you are, in a degree, as guilty before God as if your thoughts were carried into action.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 561.

4.b.      How only can man have proper thoughts and a “right mind”? Hebrews 12:1, 2; John 17:17, 19; Psalms 119:9, 97.

 Note: “We have a work to do to resist temptation. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 460.

“Christ alone can direct the thoughts aright. He alone can give noble aspirations and fashion the character after the divine similitude. If we draw near to Him in earnest prayer, He will fill our hearts with high and holy purposes, and with deep longings for purity and righteousness.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 323.



5.a. How is the book of nature useful in quickening the mind? Romans 1:20.

Note: “Through the creation we are to become acquainted with the Creator. The book of nature is a great lesson book, which in connection with the Scriptures we are to use in teaching others of His character, and guiding lost sheep back to the fold of God. As the works of God are studied, the Holy Spirit flashes conviction into the mind. …

“Too often the minds of students are occupied with men’s theories and speculations, falsely called science and philosophy. They need to be brought into close contact with nature.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 24, 25.

5.b.      How can Christ’s presence be made more real to each of His followers? Psalms 1:1–3; 8:3, 9. On what topics should our minds dwell? Matthew 5:5, 8; Philippians 4:8; 2 Peter 3:13.

 Note: “On the holy rest day, above all other days, we should study the messages that God has written for us in nature. We should study the Saviour’s parables where He spoke them, in the fields and groves, under the open sky, among the grass and flowers. As we come close to the heart of nature, Christ makes His presence real to us, and speaks to our hearts of His peace and love.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 26.

“Our minds should be constantly dwelling on the goodness of God and the future home of the saints, and we should ever be striving for perfection of character, that at last we may be given entrance into the City of God.” The Upward Look, 325.



1    Discuss the battle being waged for the control of the human mind.

2    Discuss the individual freedom to choose.

3    How does the enemy of souls use music to influence the human mind?

4    How is the mind brought under “right control” and how does it become “right-minded”?

5    Where should the mind’s eye be focused? Mention some practical ways in which this aim can be achieved.

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

None Dare Call It Apostasy, Part I

Dr. John J. Grosboll


“Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God’s sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel” 3T 267.

Part one

LAODICEA-the term signifying serious spiritual maladies which is so often applied to the Seventh- day Adventist Church. We have heard it numerous times before and will undoubtedly hear it again. But is it really true that the church is spiritually ill? Some deny it Others acknowledge that fact, but ask, “Why does it have to be discussed all the time?”

Friend, the most serious problem of the Laodicean church is not her condition of being lukewarm, spiritually blind, destitute of the righteousness of Christ and unfaithful and unloving as described in Revelation 3: 14- 22. The more serious problem of Laodicea is that she does not know this is her condition. The reason Laodicea does not know this is not because the information concerning her condition is not available. This information has been available for decades. The problem is that a large part of Adventists are living in a state of denial of plain facts. They dare not acknowledge and act on these facts because to do so would involve discomfort (maybe pain) and necessitate earthshaking changes in their lives. It is like when a person is told by his physician that he has cancer— that is a terrible fact to hear, and a common way to respond to it, initially, is to live in a state of denial, especially if one feels good at the moment. To acknowledge the facts would involve a total revision of ones life, future objectives and plans because cancer will shorten one’s life if it is not eradicated or conquered.

In the same way, if Laodicea’s problem is not solved she will be vomited out of the mouth of the Lord. Is it being critical for a physician to tell a patient that he or she has cancer? It could be construed that way, but telling the facts is absolutely necessary if the patient is to be motivated to take the steps necessary for recovery. In the same way, the spiritual problems of God’s professed people today must be addressed plainly if they are going to be motivated to make the necessary changes so they are not weighed in the balances during the judgment and found wanting.

Friend, as long as God has a church that is in apostasy, He will send messengers to it. These messengers must warn, rebuke and plead with God’s professed people to repent, confess and reform or the curse of God will be upon them. Isaiah, one of His messengers, was told to “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” Isaiah 58: 1. Today we are told, “In this fearful time, just before Christ is to come the second time, God’s faithful preachers will have to bear a still more pointed testimony than was borne by John the Baptist. A responsible, important work is before them; and those who speak smooth things, God will not acknowledge as His shepherds. A fearful woe is upon them” lT 321. Everything concerning our future destiny hangs on our accepting God’s diagnosis of our problem. The longer we experience a problem, the more used to it we become until finally it becomes difficult to realize how serious the problem really is. This happened in Christ’s day. ‘Through familiarity with evil, man had become blinded to its [sin’s] enormity” DA 752,753. This is one of the main reasons Laodicea is so complacent and there is such a lack of the spirit of Protestantism — all of us today have grown up in the midst of apostasy so we are used to it.

What is apostasy?

Paul describes apostasy as being characterized by 1) sin or breaking God’s law (2 Thessalonians 2: 3- 8), 2) believing a lie (2: 11), and 3) not believing the truth (2: 12). The Holy Spirit says that in the latter days some shall apostatize from the faith. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” 1 Timothy 4: 1. For over one hundred years this condition has existed in Adventism. We have had a departure from the historic faith God delivered to us and have been breaking His law, believing lies and not believing the truth, as will now be documented from the Spirit of Prophecy and the historical facts.

One hundred and four years ago the General Conference president, the editor of the Review and Herald and many others in Adventism, rejected the truth God was trying to bring to His people at the Minneapolis General Conference. Although some later repented, the damage which this 1888 apostasy caused is felt even today. One of the principle areas of apostasy in 1888 was the unwillingness to accept the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy — one of the two identifying marks of God’s people in the last days. But we were not willing to face the facts of this apostasy. We covered it up. Adventism published books showing that we had really accepted the message of 1888 and we were going on to victory. (Examples of such books are Movement of Destiny, Perfect in Christ, Hot Potatoes and Myths of Adventism.) None dared call it apostasy.

But over one hundred years have gone by and we are still here. A few years after the 1888 Conference, Ellen White said that if we had accepted the message God was trying to send us we would have been in the kingdom ere this. There has been an apostasy.

When it was brought to our attention by brethren Wieland and Short that we had not accepted the message in them and none dared call it apostasy. It was not until the 1888 E. G. W. Materials were published that the average Adventist had available overwhelming proof from many testimonies that the 1888 message had been rejected, that our leaders and many others had gone into apostasy.

But that was only the beginning. Another facet of the apostasy m 1888 was authority. Over and over again Ellen White warned against “kingly power.” There was a power that belonged to God alone and those at the head of the work were not to seek to take some of this power to themselves. In 1888 and onward, testimony after testimony was given in this regard. The words of Jesus in Matthew 20: 25- 28 were to be followed: “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” ‘ (See also Matthew 23: 8.) Ellen White continued her admonition after the 1888 conference. In 1896 she wrote the following instruction: “That which makes me feel to the very depths of my being~ and makes me know that their works are not the works of God, is that they suppose they have authority to rule their fellowmen. The Lord has given them no more right to rule others than He has given others to rule them. Those who assume the control of their fellow men take into their finite hands a work that devolves upon God alone.

“That men should keep alive the spirit which ran riot at Minneapolis is an offense to God. All heaven is indignant at the spirit that for years has been revealed in our publishing institution at Battle Creek. Unrighteousness is practiced that God will not tolerate. He will visit for these things. A voice has been heard pointing out the errors and, in the name of the Lord, pleading for a decided change. But who have followed the instruction given? Who have humbled their hearts to put from them every vestige of their wicked, oppressive spirit? I have been greatly burdened to set these matters before the people as they are. I know they will see them. I know that those who read this matter will be convicted” TM 76.

At the General Conference Session in 1901, Ellen White delivered a plea for “a reorganization” GCB 1901, page 25. A decentralization of power, a humbling of self, and a looking to the Lord instead of to man was the call of the hour.

A reorganization was made, one with the approval of Sister White: “I am thankful that there is to be a time when the mists will be cleared away. I hope that this time has begun here. We want the mists here to be cleared away. I want to say that from the light given tome by God, there should have been years ago organizations such as are now proposed. When we first met in conference, it was thought that the General Conference should extend over the whole world. But this is not in God’s order” Ibid. 68. Unfortunately, the plan of reorganization worked out in the 1901 General Conference was not implemented. This caused great sorrow to the heart of the messenger of God.

‘The result of the last General Conference has been the greatest, the most terrible sorrow of my life. No change was made. The spirit that should have been brought into the whole work as the result of that meeting was not brought in because men did not receive the testimonies of the Spirit of God. As they went to their several fields of labor, they did not walk in the light that the Lord had flashed upon their pathway, but carried into their work the wrong principles that had been prevailing in the work at Battle Creek” (Letter to Judge Jesse Arthur from Ellen White, Elmshaven, January 15, 1903).

By the 1903 General Conference, the state of affairs was such (because God’s plan failed to be implemented) that the centralization of power gave way in the formation of a General Conference with world- wide dominion, despite protest from a minority. Percy T. Magan who was part of this minority stated that the new plan swept away the organizational principles that had been followed in the 1897 and 1901 conferences and introduced principles that opened the way for a papal form of church government.

In 1901, the Spirit of Prophecy was officially accepted and endorsed. but not carried out in practice. This, my friend. will eventually bring about the same results as an open rejection.

The unwillingness to accept the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy affected not only our ministry, conferences and General Conference, it also affected our educational work.

In 1953, A. W. Spalding pointed out to our educators that we were in transgression of the Word of God in five areas: 1) type of motivation prevalent, 2) type of literature studied. 3) type of recreation, 4) lack of nature study and occupation, and 5) lack of proper parent education. In not a single one of these areas have our denominational schools reformed since 1953, rather we have apostatized even worse than then. In 1953 we were not, for example, engaging in competitive sports with the world as our schools are doing today.

Ellen White herself gave Elder Spalding and Dr. Magan permission to publish the selected testimonies that are now called the Spalding- Magan‘ s Collection. It is in these testimonies that explicit instruction is given in regard to tithe and other matters that is entirely contrary to what we have been taught in the professed Seventh- day Adventist Church. In the late 1950’s, when after more than thirty years had gone by and these testimonies still had not been published. a man attempted to print these testimonies and the General Conference threatened a lawsuit

The unwillingness to accept the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy resulted in a large departing from the counsels of God concerning health reform. This fact has been thoroughly researched and documented by Julius Gilbert White in his books. Are our ministers following this counsel in regard to health reform: “Let not any of our ministers set an evil example in the eating of fleshmeat”? MM 281.

Unwillingness to accept the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy has resulted in theological heresies so subtle that only those led by the Spirit of God and a careful study of the inspired writings detected what was happening.

How bad would it have to get before we would recognize there Is an apostasy?

Item: If we started to hypnotize Seventh- day Adventists in churches, would we then recognize that there was an apostasy?

[The tape of Dr. Bill Loveless is available for those who need evidence that hypnotic techniques are being taught to our pastors to be used on their congregations.]

Item: If we took fellow Adventists to court and put people in jail who were keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, would anyone recognize an apostasy?

[In 1989 John Marik was put in prison for using the name Seventh- day Adventist in his church in Hawaii, which was not under conference control]


“When troubles arise in the church we should not go for help to lawyers not of our faith. God does not desire us to open church difficulties before those who don’t fear Him. He would not have us depend for help on those who do not obey His requirements. Those who trust in such counselors show that they have not faith in God. By their lack of faith the Lord is greatly dishonored. and their course works great injury to . . . .

‘These men cast aside the counsel God has given, and do the very things He has bidden them not to do. They show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and in heaven their names are registered as one with unbelievers. Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Let these men know that God does not hear their prayers. They insult His holy name, and He will leave them to the buffetings of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sin” 3 SM 299.

Item: If we started playing intercollegiate and inter- city sports with non- Adventist colleges, would anyone recognize an apostasy? [Intercollegiate sports are happening in more than one of our colleges and the Review and Herald has its own team in an inter- city softball league.]

Item: If fiction became required reading in our denominational colleges, which led to the dramatization of a Greek myth that contained false doctrine of the undying soul, would someone credit it to apostasy?

[‘ The Mask Man will be presented at Southern College during an assembly program October. . . . The Mask Man is a solo performance that demonstrates the power and magic of transformation. It will be presented by its producer, Robert Faust. The cast of characters includes a guru, a nerd. a hippie, a nun, a turtle, an android and many more.” From a tabloid shopper that was sent free to every resident of greater Chattanooga, Tennessee.]

Item: If our college young people were encouraged to “do good” on the Sabbath by helping non- SDA neighbors by scraping and painting houses, preparing for the foundations of low- cost homes to be poured. etc., would anyone recognize an apostasy?

[See Insight magazine, August 3, 1991, page 6, “Holy Heresy,” where author Steve Daily reports these and other activities which were performed by 800 students and 50 staff at La Sierra College.]

Item: If the music that has its origin in spiritualism and which is condemned by the Spirit of Prophecy found its place, not only in the homes but also in the churches of professed Seventh- day Adventist people, would someone begin to comprehend something of an apostasy?

[A few years ago we condemned the activities of the Pentecostals as being of the devil— another spirit. We recognized their music as being of the devil, their speaking in unknown gibberish as being of the devil and especially pointed out the fact that any spirit that does not speak according to the law and to the testimony has no light in it (Isaiah 8: 20). Now we are doing the same things, some of our pastors having gone to the Pentecostals and brought the same style of worship into Adventism! Does anyone recognize an apostasy’?] [A church youth group in California was taken to a “Christian” hard- rock concert performed by Petra.] Item: If movie going and worldly entertainment became the “norm” at our high schools and colleges and reviews of these vile movies were published in some of the college newspapers, would anyone dare credit it to an apostasy?

[At Walla Walla College, reviews of the local showing movies are published in the student papers. (For counsel on theatrical performances from the Spirit of Prophecy on this, see 4T, 652- 653 or RH 2- 20- 66.]

Item: If fornication, premarital pregnancies and pornography became almost common occurrence m our schools, would someone begin to question the possibility of an apostasy?

Item: If our leaders maintained fellowship with other leaders who were living in sin and persecuting the true and the faithful, if the sinners were retained in the professed church while the true and faithful were disfellowshipped, ostracized. persecuted and forcibly separated from all connection with the General Conference, would anyone recognize there was an apostasy?

[During the first World War, Seventh- day Adventists who would not serve in armed forces on Sabbath or bear arms were not supported by the Seventh- day Adventist leadership. As a result, many went to prison and some were executed. After the war, an appeal was made to the General Conference to correct this error. The appeal was rejected and to our present knowledge the guilt of this blood has not yet been purged by repentance and confession. Yet, none dare call it apostasy.]

[In 1982, theologians met in Lima, Peru, to discuss unity of doctrine regarding baptism, the eucharist and ministry. They unanimously recommended a statement on these three doctrines for the official response of the churches. On the “Faith and Order Paper #11,” they state Adventists as one of the churches who agreed to this recommendation.]

Item: If people who are living in open sin are retained in churches and true and faithful Seventh- day Adventists are stripped of their offices and sometimes disfellowshipped. would anyone recognize an apostasy?

[After approximately 1,400 Hungarians were disfellowshipped for protesting the Church’s membership in the Council of Free Churches, there was an attempt to bring them under the control of the very organization that had been persecuting them— or else ruin them. They were told to stop all gatherings, not hold religious meetings, not receive offerings or early on their religious duties. When the true and faithful Seventh- day Adventists are disfellowshipped, if none dare call it apostasy the curse of God will be on us all (See Pilgrims Rest Tract WM- 140, July 1986; also Our Finn Foundation article by Marshall Grosboll, 11/ 88)]

Item: If Seventh- day Adventist college alumni associations began sponsoring Easter sunrise services at one of our denominational college chapels, would you think someone would acknowledge an apostasy?

[In 1992, Atlantic Union College’s Alumni Association invited the alumni to an Easter sunrise service.] Item: When administrators attempt to cover up sin in the ministry or the sins of the wealthy and prominent, instead of calling for repentance, confession and reformation of life, would anyone recognize apostasy?

Item: If ministers who teach the people they can live on in sin until Jesus comes and still be saved are retained, but true and faithful ministers who preach the three angels’ messages are fired or dismissed. does anyone recognize an apostasy? [List: Ken Knutson, Marshall Grosboll, David Bauer] Item: If a hierarchical church government were developed among those who professed to be the remnant church, would someone recognize an apostasy?

[The apostasy was made evident in the 1970’s in the Merikay Silver case (The U. S. vs the SDA Church in EEOC vs PPPA). It was clearly proclaimed in this case that the SDA Church is hierarchical. It was also claimed in this case that the General Conference of the church is the only body having authority to alter the structure of the church, either in doctrine or organization! (No church has the authority to modify doctrine — that is a prerogative of Deity alone and to make such a claim is blasphemous.)]

Item: If leaders began to say that Jesus did not come m fallen, human nature, and therefore, was different from you and me in that we cannot hope to overcome sin as He did, would anyone admit to apostasy?

[The Questions on Doctrine apostasy was first pointed out by Elder M. L. Andreasen. He wrote, “We have reached a crisis in this denomination when leaders are attempting to enforce false doctrine and threaten those who object” (Letters to the Churches, #3, by M. L. Andreason, page 8). “A Saviour who has never been tempted, never has had to battle with passions, who has never ‘offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him who was able to save Him from death, ‘who though he were a son’ never learned obedience by the things he suffered, but was ‘exempt’ from the very things that a true Saviour must experience: such a Saviour is what this NEW THEOLOGY as given in Questions on Doctrine offers us. It is not the kind of Saviour I need, nor the World” Ibid. 7.]

Item: If a majority of Seventh- day Adventist pastors and teachers began to teach that we can be saved in sin, which is to teach a different gospel than has been historically taught in the Seventh- day Adventist Church, would anyone begin to realize an apostasy? [A main tactic for thousands of years by a church that is in apostasy is to attempt to keep the truth from being examined by the people. The leaders in Adventism have repeatedly done this: “Included in such discussions have been related theological concepts such as the nature of Christ, the nature of man, the nature of sin, perfection and the question as to whether it is possible for a Christian to live a sinless life…. We are requesting that we refrain from involving ourselves in public presentations [about these matters].

Adventist Review, May 24, 1979, “Open Letter to the Church,” by Neal C. Wilson.] Item: If an SDA minister who has preached the historic Adventist message for approximately fifty years, has pastured some of our largest churches and taught theology in Adventist colleges and seminaries and never been shown to be preaching heresies denied credentials without due process and is not even allowed a hearing~ would anyone recognize an apostasy? This, friend, is a very basic transgression of God’s law. But, none dare call it apostasy! Laodicea does not want to hear about this apostasy. Either it is denied or others say, “Yes we know there is apostasy in the church, but why do you want to talk about it all the time?” Friend, as long as God has a church that is in apostasy, He will send messengers to it (Isaiah 58: 1). These messengers must warn, rebuke and plead with God’s professed people to repent, confess and reform or the curse of God will be upon them. “The curse causeless shall not come” Proverbs 26: 2.

Part two: Dr. Ralph Larson

Christian Contemporary Music

Is it Christian and is it contemporary? In reality it is neither.

In Ezekiel 28:13 we find a description of Lucifer, who later became Satan. It reads: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.”

From this verse we see that Lucifer had built-in percussion in his voice. Tabrets were a kind of drum used in ancient times during secular dance music—never in the temple. Pipes signify the ability to sing multiple parts at the same time. He was the master musician of heaven and well knew how to use his abilities. Of course, he also is well capable of perverting his abilities. So, we can see that a lot of so called Christian contemporary music is neither Christian nor contemporary since it was created by the prince of darkness long before this world began.

Unfortunately, if someone today is going to present a talk or paper on any given subject, that individual must prove that he/she has the qualifications to speak on that subject. Since I am going to speak to the subject of Christian Contemporary Music, I must present my credentials for doing so.

My mother had a degree in music from a prestigious music college and began teaching piano to me at age five. After taking lessons from her for more than ten years, she recognized that I needed more advanced teaching and arranged that I study under the concert pianist for the Tacoma, Washington, symphony orchestra. I also had lessons in pipe organ and trumpet and voice lessons which enabled me to sing in three different a Capella choirs. Over the years I collected an extensive library on the subject of music, its structure, and its usage in Scripture, and have been very interested in what the Spirit of Prophecy has to say about it. Throughout the Scriptures, there are 505 texts that deal with music in one manner or another.

Where I lived in northeast Ohio for 30 years is significant as well as the fact that I have been to Haiti on two different occasions. During those 30 years in northeast Ohio I was a pediatric anesthesiologist in a large pediatric hospital. Almost no one knows more about consciousness or unconsciousness, including altered states of consciousness, than an anesthesiologist for it is important to understand what happens in the brain during these times.

Christian contemporary music acquires its rhythms from music that has a “rock” beat. A “rock” beat places the emphasis on the second and fourth beat of the measure instead of the usual emphasis on the first and third beat of the measure. These rhythms were brought to this country from the Voodoo of West Africa by the slaves that were brought to this country from the 1600s through the 1800s. The majority of these slaves came in through the port of New Orleans. New Orleans was a “bawdy’’ city with many brothels and night clubs of unsavory reputation. Each business attempted to attract clients. Many had their own bands which had picked up on these African rhythms. This is not only my reasoning.

The National Geographic, April 2007 edition, in a 4-page spread-out clearly shows the evolution of “rock” and “rap” music. I also have in my possession a photograph of a chart produced by Mick Jagger and his “Rolling Stones” showing the exact same thing.

As the African rhythms evolved, we find the birth of Jazz.  This may be crude, but it is unfortunately the necessary truth and can be checked out on Wikipedia. Since so much perverted sex has been involved in these rhythms you would only expect “Jazz” to come from the same venue also. The word Jazz is derived from the slang word for the male ejaculation called Gizz pronounced like “Jazz” with the sound of a short “i” as in the word “it”.

As these African rhythms evolved, they developed into what is called “rhythm and blues.” All these various rhythms had the same strong emphasis on the second and fourth beats of each measure. The emphasis was always by the overpowering beat of a drum.

By the time we get to the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, such performers as Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and the Comets, and others, became popular. This is where northeast Ohio comes in. The following information was acquired right out of the Akron public library. There was a disc jockey by the name of Alan Freed, who around 1948–1950 became very popular playing ONLY rhythm and blues music. About that time, Alan received a job offer from station WGAR in Cleveland, a 50,000-watt clear channel station that covered 38 states and half of Canada.

In Cleveland, Ohio, there is a street by the name of East Prospect Avenue. In the ‘50s from East Ninth to East Thirtieth there was nothing but little beer joints, sleazy night clubs, and places for prostitution. Alan Freed frequented these places so much so that he knew most of the “ladies of the evening” on a first name basis. Every profession has its own colloquialisms that are unique to that profession and prostitution in Cleveland at that time was no different. There were TWO words that were used by the prostitutes … and they were NOT used together as they are today in “Rock and Roll.”

To “rock” meant to jump into bed with the prostitute and perform the illegitimate sex act. To “roll” was derived from the old expression, “to ‘roll’ a drunk.” To roll a drunk was derived from when someone would notice some drunk lying in a doorway with an empty bottle of booze next to him while he was oblivious to everything. The inebriated person would be turned over and his pockets would be searched to steal whatever he might have left. It would then be said that the drunk had been rolled. The prostitutes of East Prospect Avenue in Cleveland had picked up this term and applied it to the “John” (the prostitute’s client) by taking his money from him for services rendered.

Alan Freed also picked up on these terms. In early 1953 he got the idea to have a jam session composed of half a dozen of these new bands that had taken to playing the relatively new kind of music known as “rhythm and blues.”  As the session began to take shape it was scheduled to be held in the Aragon Ballroom in Cleveland which is still there today.  Alan had decided to hold the session on March 21, 1953. Notice the date – the spring equinox. People involved in this kind of music are frequently involved in the occult as well. The spring equinox is of particular significance to people who dabble in astrology and spring fertility rites, such as the Druids.

About a month before this grand, first-time jam session was to take place Alan was about to go live one evening for his disc jockey program. As the microphone went live, Alan yelled into the “mic” … “Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to ‘rock’ and we are going to ‘roll’ all night long,’’ and the term “Rock and Roll” was coined. This is why the Rock and Roll hall of fame is in Cleveland, Ohio, and not in New York or Hollywood.

The term “Rock and Roll” came right out of illicit sex and prostitution and whatever else goes along with that lifestyle. So, the next time some young man decides to say to another about some good-looking young lady, “wow, she rocks,” it would be wise to consider just what he is saying. No self-respecting young lady would want that to be said about her.

Now to Haiti. My wife and I went there in 1983 and 1984 with an interdenominational medical team of about 25. About the third night after we arrived, we heard the drums start up and they went on incessantly for hours into the night. A couple of days later we learned that there had been a Voodoo ritual up on the mountainside, and that a young man had been gruesomely sacrificed. This of course was illegal, and when the secret police hunted down the perpetrators they were dealt with just as viciously.

The book, Dark Sunrise, printed by The Review and Herald in 1957 was written by a lady and her husband who had been missionary teachers in Haiti for nine years. In it are three chapters containing much information about Voodoo and its music. I will at this time quote some from this book, as it is the best source from someone who lived there for many years.

“Ceremonial drums are constructed in accordance with a ritual born many generations ago in the heart of Africa. Upon completion they are dressed for baptism in white net and lace and are baptized in the name of the loa (Voodoo god) to whom they are thus dedicated. From then on, they are considered not simply the mysterious agents that call down spirits and keep them earth-bound; they are actually worshiped as gods. It is believed that the drum has a will of its own, and that if for some reason it disapproves of the drummer’s attitude or tactics, it will refuse to respond to him. As for the gods, food offerings are placed for the drums, to strengthen them for the performance of duty. They are put to sleep at night with much tender regard, and nearby are placed magic charms to protect them from harm. When the spirits come, they often pay elaborate homage to the drums, for without them they would be seriously handicapped in making their earthly visits. Externally they enter on water and fire, but they are led to the inner consciousness of men on a drumbeat.

“Each of the three drums had a definite and particular beat, different from the other two, yet all beats integrated to form a whole rhythm pattern, a rhythm that suffused the atmosphere with mysticism and a quality of seductive subtlety that seeped into the consciousness of the dancers until it became part of their being, and they in turn became part of a larger, fuller rhythm pattern—the heartbeat of Haiti. It was a steady rhythm, maintained without interruption that eventually took on a substantial character, a sort of magnet that drew all motion around itself like an enveloping cloak. Other activity came and went—the chants, the prostrating, the greetings to the gods—but the drumming went on relentlessly, its tone and intensity rising and falling, but always above and beyond all else, unifying sound and movement into a continuous whole.” Dark Sunrise, p. 238, 239.

I have personally seen the site of one of these Voodoo rituals. Describing it once to an audience, a little black lady from Haiti stood up and confirmed what I had said as the absolute truth. Different spirits are called up on the beat of a drum. The Voodoo priest has spent years learning his trade and he knows which particular beat or rhythm to use in order to call up a particular spirit demon. When this kind of devil music is brought into one of our churches, the people do not have the slightest idea which spirit demon they might be calling up to possess them.

On our second visit to Haiti, we went to the Adventist church on the campus of our school and college near Port-au-Prince. The music was beautiful.  A couple sang a Mozart aria. Of course, it was in the official language of Haiti, which is French. At the end of the service a 50-voice choir sang some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard.  Later that afternoon as my wife and I were walking across the campus we saw the young man who sang in the duet coming towards us. As he came near, I stopped him and asked why the people in Haiti sing such beautiful music in their churches while in the United States the churches are bringing in this “rock style music” and just adding some “Jesus” words to it. His answer was, “Very simple … we know where it came from!”

As an anesthesiologist I know that human brains function with different wave patterns. There are Alpha and Beta and Delta and Theta waves. Each shows what level of activity is going on in the person’s brain. Alpha waves are relatively slow … in the range of 2-7 waveforms per second. This activity is found during deep sleep and also during the altered state found during a trance, such as during hypnosis. This waveform is also induced in a matter of seconds when music containing an overpowering “rock’’ beat is incorporated.

In making this presentation, I am accused of just not liking this style of music. However, “like” has nothing to do with it. There are many things in my carnal nature that I like which I no longer choose to do. If “like” was the criterion for everything that we do we would certainly be in a sad state, for it is written in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it’’? It is not safe to trust in one’s own feelings, likes, or dislikes.  One must base all choices on a “thus saith the Lord.”

The time has come for the watchmen on the wall to stand up and give the trumpet a certain sound. It is time that we stand up and walk out of any place where the music of the devil is being performed. Heaven help us.

 Gene Swanson was an Adventist pediatric anesthesiologist in a large pediatric hospital. He retired in Montrose, Colorado, before he passed away.

Holy Flesh and Celebration Music, Part I

In 1898, Satan, through a false teaching known as the “Holy Flesh Movement” in Indiana, made an unsuccessful attempt to introduce a false Christ and a “Pentecostal” or “Celebration” type of worship into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Elder S. S. Davis, Indiana Conference evangelist, developed these strange new teachings, never before known among Seventh-day Adventists. Elder R. S. Donnell, President of the Indiana Conference, along with a majority of the ministry of the Conference, was swept away by the erroneous teachings. The advocates of this strange new phenomena believed the movement was the outpouring of the “Latter Rain,” and the teachings swept through the Indiana Conference with the speed of a prairie fire.

It is interesting to note that “Pentecostal” type of worship, and Pentecostal denominations as we know them today, had their beginnings in the skid row, clapboard, store-front churches of Los Angeles at the turn of the century. This erroneous type of “Pentecostal” worship was introduced into the Seventh-day Adventist Church at precisely the very same hour in history!

Ellen White was in Australia at the time and knew nothing of the development of this erroneous form of worship in Indiana. The General Conference sent Elder Stephen N. Haskell to investigate the new movement. He reported to Ellen White in two letters. (Note: These two letters will be referred to as Haskell Letter #1 and Haskell, Letter #2. Both letters are on file at the Ellen G. White Estate and are available for research).

“To describe it, I hardly know what to say,” Haskell wrote to Ellen White. “It is beyond all description. I have never seen any company held with a firmer grasp by a certain number of the leading ministers, than they are held in Indiana.” Letter #1, S. N. Haskell to Ellen G. White, Sept. 25, 1900. [Emphasis in all quotations is supplied.]

Notice that the Conference leaders of this erroneous movement in Indiana used crowd-control to deceive the people. One should always be aware that control of the masses is one of Satan’s most effective tools to “deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24.

In her reply to Haskell, Ellen White recalled the improper use of music, in worship, in fanatical movements of the past. “I bore my testimony, declaring that these fanatical movements, this din and noise, were inspired by the spirit of Satan, who was working miracles to deceive if possible the very elect.” Letter 132, 1900, 5–8, October 10, 1900; Released December 10, 1971.

Notice that Ellen White called the Holy Flesh deception a “din and noise,” and that this din and noise was “inspired by the spirit of Satan.” One of the outstanding features of this deception was a “Celebration” type of worship and music, utilizing a full band with drums. But that was not all. Along with the erroneous style of worship was taught dangerous heretical doctrines.

The Doctrine of the Holy Flesh Movement

The central doctrine of the Holy Flesh advocates was (1) that Jesus was born with Holy Flesh—with a human nature like that which Adam possessed in the Garden of Eden before the fall. (2)Jesus passed through an experience in the Garden of Gethsemane and those who followed Him through this experience would have holy flesh like Jesus had (and which Adam possessed before the fall), and this experience would fit the individual for translation. (3) After this experience the individual would then possess flesh like Jesus had and therefore would no longer sin. (4) After passing through this Garden of Gethsemane they experience the Holy Flesh. (The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 108.)

“Brother R. S. Donnell is president, and they have an experience in getting the people ready for translation,” Stephen N. Haskell wrote to Ellen White. “They call it the ‘cleansing message.’ Others call it the ‘holy flesh.’” Haskell Letter #1, September 25, 1900.

Individuals who did not pass through this “Garden Experience” were considered “adopted sons,” and therefore did not possess translation faith. These individuals would have to pass through the grave and “go to heaven by the underground railway.” The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 108.

“Attempting to gain this Garden experience that would give them holy flesh, the people gathered in meetings in which there were long prayers, strange, loud, instrumental music, and excited ,extended, hysterical preaching,” Arthur White wrote. “They were led to seek an experience of physical demonstration. Bass drums and the tambourines aided in this.” Ibid., 101. [Emphasis supplied.]

Notice the three important elements of this erroneous type of worship. (1) “Long prayers.” (2)”Extended, hysterical preaching.” (3) “Strange, loud, instrumental music,” and the fact that “bass drums and the tambourines” aided in the deception. These three elements are absolute essentials to elevate the emotions of any church gathering. In the “holy flesh” meetings, in Indiana, some of the people would reach a state of hysteria and pass out on the floor. Monitors would carry these individuals to the front “where a dozen or more people would gather around and shout, ‘Glory to God!’ while others prayed or sang.” Ibid. When they regained consciousness they were said to have “holy flesh” and were then considered fit for translation.

The Holy Flesh Movement and Celebration Music

In their meetings, the Holy Flesh leaders used loud instrumental music and hysterical preaching to elevate the emotions of the people to a frenzy until a state of delirium existed. This method of crowd control was developed more fully the following year in the Pentecostal tongues-speaking movement in the clapboard storefront, skid-row churches of Los Angeles. This form of satanic worship progressed into “false healing,” “false speaking in tongues,” “handling of snakes in worship,” and other satanic delusions. In the past ninety-eight years, the phenomena has grown to worldwide proportions in the so-called “Full Gospel” Pentecostal churches of today. Is it not curious that this satanic delusion was first developed among Seventh-day Adventists? Satan’s clever movements can be detected if the Christian is wide-awake, studying his or her Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. The Seventh-day Adventist Christian should never forget “how the Lord has led us, and His teaching, in our past history.” Life Sketches, 196.

“As the conference president stood speaking one evening,” Arthur White wrote, “he held his arms outstretched toward the congregation, and later reported that he had felt great power coursing down his arms and passing through his fingers out to the people.” Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 101.

There is a great power that goes with the movement that is on foot there,” Haskell wrote to Ellen White. “It would almost bring anybody within its scope, if they are at all conscientious, and sit and listen with the least degree of favor, because of the music that is brought to play in the ceremony.” Haskell Letter #1.

Please notice, dear Adventist friend, that in this “celebration” type of worship “there is a great power,” and that power is in the music! Pioneer Adventist, Stephen Haskell, said that if one would “listen with the least degree of favor,” they would be swept away with the deception “because of the music that is brought to play in the ceremony!”

“They have an organ, one bass viol, three fiddles, two flutes, three tambourines, three horns, and a big bass drum, and perhaps other instruments which I have not mentioned,” Haskell observed. “They are as much trained in their musical line as any Salvation Army choir that you ever heard.” Ibid.

“In fact, their revival effort is simply a complete copy of the Salvation Army method,” Haskell added, “and when they get on a high key, you cannot hear a word from the congregation in their singing, nor hear anything, unless it be shrieks of those who are half insane. I do not think I overdraw it at all.” Ibid.

“Those things which have been in the past will be in the future,” Ellen White warned. “Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. God calls upon His people, who have the light before them in the Word and in the Testimonies, to read and consider, and to take heed.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 38.

Loud Music the Prerequisite for Speaking In Tongues

“A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing,” Ellen White wrote. “The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit’s working.” Ibid.

All historians of contemporary music know that Rock’ n Roll developed in the 1950s and had its roots in black and Pentecostal gospel music. Indeed, in the NBC television production of the early career of Elvis Presley, one complete episode portrayed how Elvis developed his music from the Pentecostal church services he attended with his mother and father as a young lad.

In this episode, Elvis was appearing on his first Grand Ole’ Opry country music show. The crowd was not responding to his rendition of a beautiful ballad. Elvis was “bombing”, as the entertainment industry would describe the incident. In his mind’s eye Elvis was taken back to the Pentecostal church he attended as a lad and was impressed by the audience’s response to the wild gyrations of the minister at the service. He could clearly see the reaction of the people to the minister’s loud preaching and crowd-control methods. Presley immediately broke into a black Rhythm and Blues tune and began to imitate the gyrations of the Pentecostal minister he had observed. At that precise moment the legend of Elvis Presley was born. The cameras focused in on his mother and girl friend standing at the side of the auditorium. The camera neatly captured the expression of astonishment on their faces. Their stunned expression revealed that they too realized there was a power, a supernatural force at work that neither they nor Elvis could ever reverse. This supernatural, demonic, musical influence eventually killed Elvis Presley, and it will destroy an individual or group, denomination or church, who dare to embrace this dangerous last-day delusion of Satan!

In the 1960s, this form of music developed into small “electronic” Rock bands of four or more members. First, there was the “Beatles” of England. Soon other groups followed, such as the “Animals,” the “Rolling Stones,” and many more too numerous to mention. This Satanic music developed into what was termed “acid” music because of the drug LSD that was advocated by the musicians of the era. Later, homosexual groups appeared, such as “Alice Cooper,” and “Kiss.” Then Satan really revealed himself in the “Satan Rock” of the 1970s.

In the 1970s this satanic form of music made its entrance into the major Christian denominations of America—and even into the Roman Catholic Church! The two motion picture productions, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Godspell, will suffice as proof enough to substantiate this claim. These two blasphemous movies were accepted totally by major denominations around the world as a tool to reach the youth for Christ. These movie productions were even accepted in some Seventh-day Adventist circles—at least the music was accepted as tools to reach the youth in Sabbath Schools around the English-speaking divisions of the Church. A true Christian who has seen either of these two blasphemous productions can come away with nothing less than complete disgust.

Is it not curious that the phenomena of “speaking in tongues” came to these major denominations immediately after the lively Rock and Country gospel music was introduced into their church worship services? Another proof of this theory is that contemporary Christian Rock music did not make an entrance into the Church of Christ denomination. Why? Because the Church of Christ does not believe in the use of instrumental music in the worship service. Therefore, the phenomena of speaking in tongues did not make an entrance into that denomination!

“Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Some have been deceived here. The fruits of all this have not been good. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ Fanaticism and noise have been considered special evidences of faith. Some are not satisfied with a meeting unless they have a powerful and happy time. They work for this and get up an excitement of feeling. But the influence of such meetings is not beneficial. When the happy flight of feeling is gone they sink lower than before the meeting because their happiness did not come from the right source.” Last Day Events, 159, 160. [Emphasis supplied.]

Notice that Ellen White states that this kind of music has “been considered gifts which God has placed in the church,” but, “the fruits of all this have not been good.” She added further “the influence of such meetings is not beneficial.” Why? It was “because their happiness did not come from the right source.”

“The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with such a confusion of noise and multitude of sounds as passed before me last January,” Ellen White stated. “Satan works amid the din and confusion of such music, which, properly conducted, would be a praise and glory to God. He makes its effect like the poison sting of the serpent.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 37.

The subtitle of this article in Selected Messages is, “Music Is Made a Snare.” A publisher’s note states; “These comments were made in connection with the ‘Holy Flesh’ movement at the Indiana Camp Meeting of 1899. For further details, See Selected Messages, Book 2, 31–39.” [Sub-title and Publisher’s Note omitted in later editions.]

History of the Past to be Repeated

Those things which have been in the past will be in the future,” Ellen White warned. Why will these things be repeated? Because “the itching desire to originate something new results in strange doctrines.” Ibid., 38.

“Last January the Lord showed me that erroneous theories and methods would be brought into our camp meetings, and that the history of the past would be repeated. I felt greatly distressed. I was instructed to say that at these demonstrations demons in the form of men are present, working with all the ingenuity that Satan can employ to make the truth disgusting to sensible people; that the enemy was trying to arrange matters so that the camp meetings, which have been the means of bringing the truth of the Third Angel’s Message before multitudes, should lose their force and influence.” Ibid., 37.

Notice that Ellen White was “instructed to say” by a heavenly being that “demons in the form of men are present, working with all the ingenuity that Satan can employ to make the truth disgusting to sensible people.” At these contemporary Seventh-day Adventist “celebration” worship services “demons in the form of men are present.” Dear Adventist friend, beware!

History Repeated Just Before the Close of Probation

“The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation,” Ellen White wrote to Stephen Haskell. “Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated.” Last Day Events, 159.

Notice that this satanic phenomena “would take place just before the close of probation” in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and that “every uncouth thing will be demonstrated.” All the practices of the Holy Flesh Movement will be, and are being, repeated in the Church “just before the close of probation.” (For further study see, Last Day Events, 159,160; Maranatha, 226; Selected Messages, Book 2, 36–39; The Voice in Speech and Song, 417, 418; Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 107–109; The Early Elmshaven Years, 100–107.)

“And while those who are devoted to these sciences laud them to the heavens because of the great and good works which they affirm are wrought by them, they little know what a power for evil they are cherishing; but it is a power which will yet work with all signs and lying wonders—with all deceivableness of unrighteousness,” Ellen White concluded. “Mark the influence of these sciences, dear reader, for the conflict between Christ and Satan is not yet ended.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 352.

Those who love the new “celebration” style of worship “laud them to the heavens.” Why? “Because of the great and good works . . . they affirm are wrought by them.” However, “they little know what a power for evil they are cherishing.” Ellen White warned that this type of celebration worship is a power which will yet work with all signs and lying wonders—with all deceivableness “There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing,” Ellen White warned. “The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions.” Last Day Events, 159. In the book Maranatha, article, “Drums, Dancing and Noise,” page 234, the sentence is added: “And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.”

Notice also that in this testimony Ellen White states that, “There will be.” Not possibly, or maybe, but there will be! What will there be? “Shouting, with drums, music and dancing,” and, “the senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions.” Will this happen overnight? No, Satan never works that way. He is not stupid. It will come with portions of the above introduced a little at a time. Holy dancing will probably be the last part to be accepted by “rational beings” who “cannot be trusted to make right decisions.” Today we already have the drums and the music in celebration worship services in liberal Seventh-day Adventist churches across America. Next will probably be the shouting, false speaking in tongues and false healings, then the holy dancing.

Mark this point carefully, dear reader. There are two major differences between this final hour deception of Satan, and the deception he introduced to Seventh-day Adventists in the Holy Flesh Movement of 1900. Added to the instrumentation of the “holy band” of the Holy Flesh Movement of 1900, would be the essential 1990s instrumentation of contemporary Rock’ n Roll music. (1)Electric amplified guitar; (2) electric amplified bass, (3) electric amplified keyboards, (4) a full set of drums, not just a “bass drum.” The key word here is “amplified.” If the reader observes this combination of electric instrumentation in any church worship service—beware!

Remember that Ellen White warned that, (1) “Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted.” (2) The music would be loud, “a bedlam of noise.” (3) “God calls upon His people…to take heed.” Ibid., 38.

False Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

“The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise,” Ellen White counseled. “This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 107. “No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship.” Ibid., 108.

“Brother and Sister Haskell, we must put on every piece of the armor, and having done all, stand firm,” Ellen White counseled. “We are set as a defense for the gospel, and we must compose a part of the Lord’s grand army for aggressive warfare.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 38.”By the Lord’s faithful ambassadors the truth must be presented in clear-cut lines,” Ellen White continued. “Much of that which today is called testing truth is twaddle which leads to a resistance of the Holy Spirit.” Ibid.

“Much is being said regarding the impartation of the Holy Spirit, and by some this is being so interpreted that it is an injury to the churches,” Ellen White wrote to Haskell. “Eternal life is the receiving of the living elements in the Scriptures and doing the will of God.” Ibid., 38, 39.

Holy Flesh & Celebration Music, Part II

Haskell’s Eye Witness Report

Steven N. Haskell and Elder A. J. Breed were sent by the General Conference to investigate what was going on in the Indiana Conference. They were also to be guest speakers at the 1900 Indiana camp meeting.

“The camp meeting at which this experience took place was held in Muncie, Indiana, while Ellen White was on board ship returning to the United States,” Arthur White wrote. “When James Edson White journeyed to the West Coast to greet his mother, he handed her a letter from Elder Haskell in which he described some of the things that had taken place.” The Early Elmshaven Years, 101, 102.

Haskell had written a second letter to Ellen White describing in more detail the teachings of the Holy Flesh advocates. This second Letter Haskell mailed from Battle Creek, Michigan, the same day he handed Letter #1 to Edson White to deliver to his mother in person. This document is known as the Haskell Letter #2, September 25, 1900.

Arthur White did not refer to the second Haskell letter in his narration of the history of the Holy Flesh Movement. Why? Could it have been because the second letter revealed what the Holy Flesh advocates really taught about the human nature Christ assumed while in the flesh? This second Haskell letter proves that the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church is now teaching the same false doctrine on the human nature of Christ as it was taught by the Holy Flesh advocates!

The Erroneous Holy Flesh Teaching of the Human Nature Of Christ

The Holy Flesh advocates taught that Jesus came to earth in a nature like that which Adam possessed before the fall in the Garden of Eden. Note carefully Haskell’s clear eye-witness description of this false teaching in his second letter to Ellen White.

“When we stated that we believed that Christ was born in fallen humanity, they would represent us as believing that Christ sinned,” Haskell wrote, “notwithstanding the fact that we would state our position so clearly that it would seem as though no one could misunderstand us.” Haskell Letter #2.

“Their point of theology in this particular respect seems to be this,” Haskell continued. “They believe that Christ took Adam’s nature before he fell; so He [Christ] took humanity as it was in the garden of Eden, and thus humanity was holy, and this is the humanity which Christ had; and now, they say, the particular time has come for us to become holy in that sense, and then we will have ‘translation faith’ and never die.” Ibid.

Notice the two important points in the above statements. Haskell stated that:

“When we stated that we believed that Christ was born in fallen humanity, they would represent us as believing that Christ sinned, notwithstanding the fact that we would state our position so clearly that it would seem as though no one could misunderstand us.” This problem still exists today. When anyone states that “Christ was born in fallen humanity,” he or she is accused of believing that Christ sinned.

The Holy Flesh advocates “believe that Christ took Adam’s nature before he fell; so He took humanity as it was in the garden of Eden, and thus humanity was holy, and this is the humanity which Christ had.”

Ellen White had just returned from several years in Australia, and as she came ashore, the Haskell Letter #1 was handed to her in person by her son, James Edson White. Haskell’s Letter #2, arrived in the mail a few days later. Ellen White confronted the false teaching of the Holy Flesh Movement with dispatch. At the close of the 1901 General Conference session, on Wednesday morning, April 17, Ellen White arose and presented a testimony directly to the General Conference. R. S. Donnell, President of the Indiana Conference, and S. S. Davis, the Conference evangelist, who had led out in the false teachings, were present at this meeting.

Ellen White stated in part: “Instruction has been given me in regard to the late experience of brethren in Indiana and the teaching they have given to the churches. Through this experience and teaching the enemy has been working to lead souls astray.” General Conference Bulletin, 1901, 419–422: Selected Messages, Book 2, 31–35.

At the early morning workers’ meeting the following day, Elder R. S. Donnell, Indiana Conference President, confessed that he was wrong. (See “Confession, Donnell,” General Conference Bulletin, vol. IV, Extra No. 18, April 23, 1901, 422.)

Following the General Conference session in 1901, a local Conference session was convened in Indianapolis, Indiana, May 3–5, 1901, to elect new officers. Attending this conference business meeting were Elders A. G. Daniells, W. W. Prescott, A. T. Jones, P. T. Magan, and W. C. White. Ellen White also attended this meeting and addressed the delegates. At the close of her address Ellen White stated: “When I am gone from here, none are to pick up any points of this doctrine and call it truth. There is not a thread of truth in the whole fabric.” G. A. Roberts, The Holy Fanaticism, Ellen G. White Estate, Document File #190.

Notice that Ellen White warned that “none are to pick up any points of this doctrine and call it truth.” And further that, “There is not a thread of truth in the whole fabric.” Not a thread of truth in any point of the Holy Flesh doctrine. Not in their “celebration” type of music—not in their pre-fall of Adam human nature of Jesus Christ doctrine. Yet the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church is vigorously promoting both “celebration” music worship services, and the pre-fall nature of Christ, (as used by the Holy Flesh advocate)!

“Listen to the music, to the language, called higher education,” Ellen White counseled. “But what does God declare it?—The Mystery of Iniquity.” (An Appeal for Missions, 11.)

False Concept of Christ’s Human Nature

As noted above, S. N. Haskell, in a second letter, wrote to Ellen White that leaders of the Holy Flesh Movement in Indiana were teaching the false doctrine that Christ came to earth in the human nature of Adam before he fell in the garden of Eden. Ellen White stated that “none are to pick up any points of this doctrine and call it truth.” Why? Because, “There is not a thread of truth in the whole fabric.” White Estate Document, File #190. According to this statement, if one was to teach that Christ came to earth in the human nature of Adam before he fell in the garden of Eden, he would be teaching a doctrine held by the Holy Flesh Movement! Or if one was to teach the “celebration” music concepts in worship, they would also be teaching a doctrine held by the Holy Flesh Movement. If she were alive today, what would Ellen White say about the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church teaching both Holy Flesh concepts on music and the human nature of Christ?

Holy Flesh False Doctrines Taught Today

“He [Christ] was like Adam before his fall,” Leroy Edwin Froom wrote, “who was similarly without any inherent sinful ‘propensities.’ ” L. E. Froom, Movement of Destiny, 428.

“He [Christ] was perfect in His humanity, but He was none the less God, and His conception in His incarnation was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit so that He did not partake of the fallen sinful nature of other men,” Dr. E. Schuyler English, noted Evangelical leader wrote. (Froom, op. sit., Dr. E. Schuyler English, editor Our Hope, MD, 469.) In his reply letter to Dr. English, Froom stated, “That, we in turn assured him, is precisely what we [Seventh-day Adventists] likewise believe.” Ibid., 470.

“Although born in the flesh, He was nevertheless God, and was exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam.” Questions on Doctrine, 383.

“Jesus was not like you and me when He was here upon earth, for He was never a sinner,” Donald Reynolds wrote. “He came to this earth as Adam before Adam fell.” Donald G. Reynolds, “Adam and Evil”, Review and Herald, July 1, 1965.

The Church is now officially teaching a cardinal doctrine held by the Holy Flesh Movement in direct opposition to the Spirit of Prophecy which stated clearly that, “When I am gone from here, none are to pick up any points of this doctrine and call it truth,” for, “there is not a thread of truth in the whole fabric.”

Falsifying History To Sustain A Doctrinal Position

In 1958, Arthur White, then chairman of the Ellen G. White Estate, wrote a Compiler’s Note in Selected Messages, book 2. The Note is found on page 31, before the chapter titled, “The Holy Flesh Doctrine.” The statement in the Compiler’s Note that “during Christ’s agony in Gethsemane He obtained holy flesh comparable to that possessed by Adam before his fall,” is erroneous. The correct teaching of the Holy Flesh advocates was that “Christ came to earth [when He was born] in the nature of Adam before he fell in the Garden of Eden.”

“They [Holy Flesh advocates] believe that Christ took Adam’s nature before he fell,” Haskell had written to Ellen White, “so He took humanity as it was in the garden of Eden.” Haskell Letter #2.

The deception can be very subtle and confusing. An easy way to separate the confusion is to think of, 1) “the Garden of Eden,” versus, 2) “the Garden of Gethsemane.” The Garden of Eden was before man fell—the Garden of Gethsemane was after man fell.

Arthur White’s Historical Source For the Compiler’s Note

Arthur White’s source for the position in the Compiler’s Note was taken from a letter written by Burton Wade. The letter was dated January 12, 1962, and addressed to Arthur White. Wade had “attended the camp meeting held in Muncie, Indiana, in September of 1900.” Although Burton Wade was 86 years old at the writing of this letter, and was recalling an event that took place 62 years prior, he claimed to have a vivid and clear memory of that camp meeting. Wade stated that the Holy Flesh advocates “believed that, when Christ suffered in Gethsemane, he obtained ‘Holy Flesh’ such as Adam had in the beginning before the fall.”

“This position is a bit at variance with those of G. A. Roberts and S. N. Haskell,” Kenneth Wood wrote, “but how do we know which of these men was capable of making a definitive theological statement?” Kenneth Wood Letter, to William Grotheer, dated at Takoma Park, Maryland, March 13, 1968.

Think for a moment, dear reader, about Kenneth Wood’s question, “but how do we know which of these men was capable of making a definitive theological statement?” Three men gave eyewitness accounts of what the Holy Flesh advocates were teaching on the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ. Let us consider the relative theological background of each of these three men carefully.

Elder Stephen N. Haskell

Elder Stephen N. Haskell was a well-known Seventh-day Adventist pioneer and writer. Four of his most famous works were, The Cross and Its Shadow, The Seer of Patmos, Daniel the Prophet, and, Haskell’s Handbook (a doctrinal study guide for the layman, published in 1919). Ellen White cited Haskell for his stand on truth in 1888. (Ellen G. White, Ms. 15, 1888, See Through Crisis to Victory, 301). He had been sent to the Indiana Conference to investigate the teaching of the Holy Flesh advocates by the General Conference and was a speaker at the 1900 camp meeting at Muncie, Indiana. Haskell was 67 years old at the time. Burton Wade was a young man of 24 years. Haskell wrote his account two days after the Muncie camp meeting. Burton Wade wrote his letter, recalling the event, 62 years later, and he was 86 years old at the writing of his letter. At this conference, Haskell had discussed doctrinal concepts directly with the leaders of the Holy Flesh Movement. Two days after returning to Battle Creek, Haskell wrote two letters to Ellen White reporting the teachings of the Holy Flesh advocates. One letter he mailed, the other he gave to Edson White, who was passing through Battle Creek on his way to meet Ellen White at the docking of the ship from Australia. Again, both Letter #1 and #2 are on file at the Ellen G. White Estate, of which Kenneth Wood was a trustee.

Elder G. A. Roberts

Elder G. A. Roberts, who later served as President of the Inter-American Division (1936–1941), was also an eyewitness of the Holy Flesh Movement. He had attended their meetings at Indianapolis. Roberts was also a close friend of R. S. Donnell, one of the leaders of the Holy Flesh Movement. Twenty-three years later he wrote his observations of the experience. About the position held by the Holy Flesh advocates on the doctrine of the Incarnation he stated in part: “It was taught that Jesus had holy flesh, and that those who followed Him through this garden experience would likewise have holy flesh; that the text, ‘A body hast thou prepared me,’ showed that Christ had a specially prepared holy body. The Scripture, Hebrews 2:7–14, was used to prove that Christ was born with flesh like ‘my brethren’ and ‘the church’ would have after they had passed through the garden experience.” G. A. Roberts, The Holy Flesh Fanaticism, June, 1923, Document File #190.

Notice that Roberts stated the Holy Flesh advocates believed that:

  • “Jesus had holy flesh”
  • “Christ had a specially prepared holy body” when He came to earth
  • “Christ was born with flesh like My brethren,”
  • “the church would have after they had passed through the garden experience.”

This statement clearly shows that the Holy Flesh advocates believed that Jesus came to earth in the nature of Adam before the fall, and that the Church would obtain this same flesh after passing through the “Garden of Gethsemane” experience. Then they would no longer sin and would be fit for translation.

Burton Wade

Burton Wade, the person who Kenneth Wood and other Seventh-day Adventist leadership depended on for their historical source, was a lay member from Denver, Indiana. In order for Kenneth Wood and the Adventist leadership to accept Wade’s testimony, they had to cast aside the testimony of the three reliable General Conference men, S. N. Haskell, A. J. Breed, and the testimony of G. A. Roberts. Haskell, Breed, and Roberts all agree. Burton Wade gave a different account. It will be left with the reader to decide which of these four men were capable of making “a definitive theological statement.”

Jesse Dunn, an older man who also lived at Denver, Indiana, and was the State Agent at the time, “understood the doctrine as taught by the Holy Flesh advocates in harmony with Haskell and Roberts.” William A. Grotheer, The Holy Flesh Movement, 59. Why did the compilers of the book Selected Messages, Book 2, choose the testimony of Burton Wade over Jesse Dunn, the other eyewitness from Indiana? More important, why did they choose Wade’s testimony over S. N. Haskell and A. J. Breed, the two men sent by the General Conference to investigate the teachings of the Holy Flesh advocates? Why did they ignore the testimony of G. A. Roberts, another reliable General Conference eyewitness?

Startling Discrepancy In Source Dates

The Burton Wade letter was stated to be the source for the Compiler’s Note in Selected Messages, Book 2. However, the book was copyrighted in 1958 and the Wade letter was dated 1962, four years after the book Selected Messages, Book 2, was published!.

“What then is the source of the Compiler’s Note?” Grotheer asked. “Or worse yet, perish the thought, were the first two paragraphs of the Wade letter `planted’ to give substantiation to the basic error in the Compiler’s Note?” William Grotheer, Letter to Kenneth Wood, dated at Florence, Mississippi, March 15, 1968. Grotheer stated further that, “Unless other proof can be offered to the source of the note, this last idea needs to be investigated further, for it would then have validity.”

The Compiler’s Note in the book Selected Messages, Book 2, was published in 1958. The Evangelical Conferences with Dr. Donald Barnhouse and Walter Martin took place two years prior in 1955–56. It was at these Evangelical Conferences that concessions were made on the “Atonement” and the “Human Nature of Christ.” The book Questions On Doctrine, in which these concessions were stated, was published the previous year in 1957.

The Objective Of the Compiler’s Note

Why does the leadership of the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church aspire to teach that the Holy Flesh advocates believed that Christ obtained the nature of the pre-fall Adam “during His agony in Gethsemane”—rather then “Christ obtained Adam’s unfallen nature when He came to earth”? Is it that the leadership now teaches that “Christ obtained Adam’s unfallen nature when He came to earth,” the very same false doctrine as the Holy Flesh advocates taught?

If the Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders accepted Haskell’s and Roberts’ testimony, they would have to concede that they are now teaching a doctrine held by the Holy Flesh advocates. Then the Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership would have to explain why they are teaching a doctrine in direct opposition to the Spirit of Prophecy. They would have to negate the statement by Ellen White that: “There is not a thread of truth in the whole fabric,” and again, “when I am gone from here, none are to pick up any points of this doctrine and call it truth.” Is it not curious that the Church leadership cannot see the truth on this point as both the G. A. Roberts’ document and the Haskell letters are in the files of the Ellen G. White Estate and are available for research?

In a letter to William Grotheer, Arthur White stated that to him the teaching of the Holy Flesh advocates on the human nature of Christ was, “a matter of little importance.” He added further that, “Except as there may be lessons in the experience for us today, it is not a matter of great interest or consequence to the church now.” Arthur L. White, Letter to William H. Grotheer, dated at Takoma Park, Washington D. C., December 13, 1968.

This, of course, is not true. Thirty years after Arthur White made this statement, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is divided in a debate over the human nature Christ assumed while in the flesh and the “celebration” music style of worship now prevalent throughout Adventism. Both of these false concepts were first advocated by the Holy Flesh movement. There are tremendous lessons for the Church today in relation to the Holy Flesh Movement of Indiana.

“We have nothing to fear for the future,” Ellen White counseled, “except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” Life Sketches, 196.

In his letter, Arthur White admitted that the truth on this matter could not be determined “without thorough, painstaking research (which seemed uncalled for in this case)” because only a brief historical note was being written. Ibid., White Letter, December 13, 1968. This statement reveals that historical inserts to the writings of Ellen G. White were made, “Without thorough, painstaking research.”

After Arthur White’s attention had been directed to the Haskell statement he admitted that, “Elder Haskell saw it differently than I have reported.” White observed further that, “The Wade testimony is interesting. I felt it was corroborative.” But what was it corroborative to? It was corroborative to the position White had presented in the Compilers Note! As an after thought, White admitted that the Wade letter “is not conclusive because of the time lapse (62 years).” He concludes the paragraph by stating, “One is led to say, ‘So what?’ ” Ibid.

So what? The Wade letter was written in 1962, four years after the Compiler’s Note was published in Selected Messages, book. 2, in 1958. How could Arthur White use the information in the Burton Wade letter, written four years after the Compiler’s Note was written?

In his letter, Arthur White promised to restudy the issue “and if I am convinced that the note does not correctly represent the facts, I shall request the Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate to approve a rewording which we will ask the publishers to place in the next printing of the book.” Ibid. The book has been reprinted since this letter was written by Arthur White in 1968. Over 30 years have passed, and the Compiler’s Note remains unchanged.

Still Ignoring the Haskell Letter #2

In 1983, fifteen years after his letter to William Grotheer, Arthur L. White wrote a six volume set of books on the life of Ellen White. In volume 5, The Early Elmshaven Years, 1900–1905, pages 100-107, White covered the history of the Holy Flesh Movement of Indiana. On pages 101 and 102, White quoted from the Haskell Letter #1. Although for the past fifteen years he was aware of, and had access to, the Haskell Letter #2 in the Ellen G. White Estate Document Files, White still chose to ignore this second Haskell Letter. Why? It seems very probable to this author that it was because the second Haskell letter was theologically opposed to the present Seventh-day Adventist position on the human nature of Christ, and to the Compiler’s Note that White had written in Selected Messages, Book 2.

Today, in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we see not only the very same false doctrine of Christ’s human nature as taught by the Holy Flesh advocates, but also the very same “celebration music” services of the Holy Flesh advocates in many Seventh-day Adventist Churches. It is past time that we consider the seriousness of this matter and where it is leading us.

Note: If you would like more information about the danger of the Celebration movement in Adventism today, call Steps to Life and order our booklet titled No Time to Celebrate. Available in English and Spanish for $1.00 per booklet. Call for bulk prices.

False Justification by Faith, Part II

Back in the Dark Ages, God began to prepare a people for the Second Coming of Jesus by using Martin Luther to start the great Protestant Reformation in the preaching of justification by faith. Then in 1844 God brought forth His Advent movement preaching the additional truth that the divine law of God, contained in the most holy place within the heavenly sanctuary, must be obeyed in order for us to fully receive the righteousness of Christ. Many within the church, in their zeal to preach the law, did so in a legalistic way forgetting that we need Jesus in our hearts before we are able to keep the law and live the Christian life.

Ellen White addressed this problem when she wrote, “As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that hath neither dew nor rain.” Review and Herald, March 11, 1890.

To help the servant of the Lord meet this legalistic problem, the Lord sent E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones to preach justification by faith with the law. But many within the church, especially its leaders, thought they were trying to do away with the law. This is why the Minneapolis Conference of 1888 rejected the message of justification by faith.

Today we are facing the imminent return of Jesus, and once again Satan has infiltrated God’s true church with the celebration of New Theology. This theology proclaims a false justification by faith by teaching that all that is needed for salvation is love and unity. No one need be concerned about the law, since Christ kept it for us, they say. As a result millions among us have been duped to believe the lie of Satan that the divine law of God cannot be kept, even in the power of almighty God.

We need to have our eyes opened that through an experience of the new birth, born of repentance, confession, forgiveness and obedience, we are clothed with Christ’s righteousness and thus fit for heaven.

False Justification Enters the SDA Church

How is this false teaching of justification by faith affecting the Seventh-day Adventist Church? From the Remnant Herald, No. 43, November 1998, I gleaned the following.

In 1975, Bill Hibbles began an interdenominational Pentecostal-styled church near Chicago focused on church growth. Today about seventeen thousand adults attend his weekend seeker services and six thousand attend the midweek believers services. By all human standards the Willow Creek Church is a great success. This church has formed the Willow Creek Association (WCA), and presently over two thousand two hundred churches have joined. At least fifty-six of those are Seventh-day Adventist churches. They are listed on the WCA’s web site.

The Willow Creek Association is an organization of a fallen church of Babylon. It is a charismatic, Sunday-keeping church. These conferences and churches have now gone to a fallen church of Babylon in order to be better Seventh-day Adventists. Just as well may they go to the witch of Endor. They have entered Babylon, it will be well nigh impossible to recover such denominational entities for they have done so in the full light of truth.

An article in the Adventist Review, December 18, 1997, promotes this association by stating:

  1. Adventists should give Willow Creek a fair shake.
  2. Adventists should continue gleaning from Willow Creek.
  3. Gleaning from Willow Creek’s message does not mean forfeiting our message.

How can we be so blind? “Adventists, both pastors and lay people constantly make up one of the largest groups at Willow Creek’s half dozen annual seminars.” Ibid.

God’s flock worldwide must be warned concerning this phenomenon within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Work of the Omega

Elder Robert Pierson, former President of the General Conference, foresaw what was about to take place as a result of this new theology of a false justification by faith. In the October 1977, Ministry Magazine he wrote, “It would be well for every Seventh-day Adventist leader to prayerfully study the several plans of the apostate angel of light as he seeks to thwart the triumph of the Advent movement. Get out your Bibles and the Spirit of Prophecy, especially in Selected Messages, Book 1,193–205, and on your knees consider the startling facts faithfully chronicled by the Lord’s servant. Now note well what Ellen White, in this reference, warns could mark the work of the omega.

  1. The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be disregarded. (Ibid., 204.)
  2. The truth will be criticized, scorned and derided. (Ibid., 201.)
  3. It will make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin. (Ibid., 204.)
  4. The religion would be changed. (Ibid.)
  5. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. (Ibid., 205.)
  6. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the past fifty years would be accounted as an error. (Ibid., 204.)
  7. There would be a supposition that a great reformation was about to take place among Seventh-day Adventists and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith. (Ibid.)
  8. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. (Ibid.)
  9. The new philosophy would ‘rob the people of God and their experience, giving them instead a false science.’ (Ibid.)
  10. It would seek to weaken the preaching of the second advent by teaching “that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient importance to be given special attention.” Ibid.
  11. Books of a new order would be written. (Ibid.)
  12. A new organization would be established. (Ibid.)
  13. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of this new movement.” Ibid., 205.

Now go back over these thirteen points. Study them carefully and prayerfully. You may have to meet them sooner than you expect. The seeds of such apostasy are in the churches of Christendom all around us. Before Jesus returns, the Seventh-day Adventist Church may well be confronted with a crisis that will exceed in magnitude the Kellogg alpha apostasy. It “will be of a most startling nature.” Ibid., 197.

I believe we are in the omega crisis now. This is none other than the work of spiritualism, which has invaded God’s true church. In Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 405, we read, “Spiritualism is now changing its form, veiling some of its most objectionable and immoral features, and assuming a Christian guise. Formerly it denounced Christ and the Bible, now it professes to accept both. The Bible is interpreted in a manner that is attractive to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. A God of love is presented; but His justice, His denunciation of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight. Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the senses of those who do not make God’s word the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily rejected as before; but Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not discerned.” Jesus gives a test by which false teachers may be distinguished from the true. (See Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 145.)

Vatican II and Celebration

The Vatican II Papal document stated that it is their objective, through the celebration movement, to bring the whole of humanity into one fold (meaning the Roman Catholic Church). According to this document, the objectives of the second Vatican Council are:

  1. Let there be a custom application [use] of the word celebration.
  2. Let there be a custom of revival in celebration worship in which the people will be involved directly with both verbal and physical participation.
  3. Let there be a custom of celebration worship dialog between the pastor and the people.
  4. Let us use as much variety in worship as is possible.
  5. Let music, while they worship there, be the most effective.
  6. Lessen, [narrow] the difference, between the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper. Teach people that the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper is the foundation of Christian unity, friendship and celebration of the Lord’s day [Sunday].
  7. Do your best to encourage observation of Sunday, including rest from work.

As a result of these Vatican objectives, celebration began in the Catholic Church and soon the Pentecostal charismatic churches followed. The old method of Jesuit infiltration of Protestant churches was suspended by the new infiltration of Catholic philosophy called love and unity. The second Vatican Council added its blessing by no longer calling the Protestant Churches heretics but brethren separated from the Mother Church.

The Vatican II Council then began to emphasize the Holy Spirit by holding revivals among its nuns and priests. The result was startling. Tens of thousands of priests and nuns began speaking in tongues. Now both the Catholic and the Protestant had something in common. They both spoke in tongues in the celebration movement.

Confronting Celebration

John Janiuk confronts the celebration movement with the Three Angels’ Message in his book, The Great Controversy Endgame, No. 2. He clearly differentiates between what is true and what is false justification by faith.

“The Three Angels’ Message is God’s call to leave Babylon. It is the message of separation.…The celebration movement calls for unity of all churches.

“The Three Angels’ Message is a warning message, but the celebration movement is the message of peace and security, love and unity. Sin and the law of God are treated lightly.

“The foundation of the Three Angels’ Message is the message of the everlasting gospel (true justification by faith).…The foundation of the celebration movement is a false gospel (a false justification)—salvation in sin—‘you will be sinning until the Second Coming of Christ.’ It is a gospel without power. If you sin before and after accepting the gospel, where is the power of the gospel? The truth is, if you accept a false gospel you have no power from God.…Satan demonstrated his power with great effect in Eden, and we are still affected by that same power today. Today he says that we cannot keep God’s commandments. If you believe his lies then you will not obey God’s law.

“The Bible says: ‘…here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ The pen of Inspiration says: ‘Christ left His heavenly home, and came to this world to show that only by being connected with divinity can man keep the law of God. In itself, humanity is tainted and corrupt, but Christ brought moral power to man, and those who live in communion with Him overcome, as He overcame.” Signs of the Times, December 10, 1896.

“‘He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that He can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.” Review and Herald, March 10, 1904. (See also Acts of the Apostles, 523.)

A Call to Righteousness

“The Three Angels’ Messages are calling the whole of humanity to ‘Fear [reverence] God’ in complete surrender to God and His Word, and also His will, the Ten moral Commandments and the gospel. But the celebration movement depends on theology which ‘Is interpreted in a manner that is attractive to the unrenewed hearts, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. A God of love is presented; but His justice, His denunciation of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 405.

“The Three Angels’ Messages call to ‘Give glory to Him.’ Mrs. White says: ‘To give glory to God is to reveal His character in our own, and thus make Him known. And in whatever way we make known the Father or the Son, we glorify God.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 979. But the celebration movement does not preach this.

“The Three Angels’ Messages proclaim ‘For the hour of His judgment is come.’ This is the pre-advent, Investigative Judgment, which began in the year 1844. The celebration movement does not warn the people about this. However, if the subject is mentioned they say: ‘Do not be afraid of the judgment, if you believe in Jesus, don’t worry about it.’

‘Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’ God tells us to keep holy the Sabbath day as a special day in memorial of His creation and redemption. But the purpose, goal, and aim of the celebration movement according to Vatican II is to observe Sunday and recognize the Pope as the Vicar of Jesus Christ and submit to him.

Babylon is Fallen, Come Out of Her

“The Second Angel’s Message says: ‘Babylon is fallen.’ Why? Because Babylon rejected the Biblical truths. Revelation 18:2 describes the last day condition of Babylon. The fallen churches [Catholic and Protestant] attacked the Seventh-day Adventist church with the celebration movement. The Bible says ‘a habitation of devils.’ Of course, God still has, in these fallen churches, some individuals who are the children of God. Our message, especially in the time of the loud cry will be ‘Come out of her, my people’ Revelation 18:4.

“The Third Angel’s Message is the most fearful of any before. This message was proclaimed to mortal man, as a warning against receiving the mark of the beast (observance of Sunday as the Sabbath). According to the document of Vatican Synod II the purpose of the celebration movement is that the whole world shall observe Sunday and submit to the Papacy. It does not matter to them what else you believe so long as you submit to those two things. Do you see where this movement is leading us?

“The Three Angels’ Messages are summarized in Revelation 14:12 and describe what people will be like after they accept these messages. ‘Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ Here is presented the main characteristics and qualities of God’s people:

  1. The patience of the saints
  2. They keep the commandments of God
  3. They have the faith of Jesus

“But the celebration movement says: ‘We cannot keep the commandments of God.’ ‘Men who are under the control of Satan repeat these accusations against God, in asserting that men cannot keep the law of God.’ Signs of the Times January 16, 1896. (We must) ‘not only accept Christ as Saviour of the world, but as a personal Saviour from sin and sinning. Faith is nothing if it falls short of this.’ Signs of the Times August 26, 1889.” The Great Controversy Endgame, No. 2.

Music, Love and Praise!

The heart of celebration worship is found in its music, Contemporary Christian or Christian rock. Their message is love and praise for the most part. It does not call to repentance, appeal for sacrifice, or for prayer for sinners. The Second Coming is almost absent. Bible doctrines are not found.

Pioneering Seventh-day Adventists sang many hymns containing its message. They did so because they believed that God had called them to proclaim a message even in their singing. The current Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal has a topical index of hymns. Nearly every major doctrine is represented there: Salvation through faith in Christ, the Second Coming, the Sabbath, the judgment, the sleep of the dead, stewardship and even the sanctuary along with still others. God intended that the great hymns of faith should be used to teach His end-time message.

For example, No. 412 in the Hymnal illustrates this point. “Reconciled by His death for my sin, Justified by His life pure and clean, Sanctified by obeying His word, Glorified when returneth my Lord.” What a wonderful balance, a presentation of the gospel that is given in such songs. Preachers and laity would both be less likely to stray from the path of truth if they paid attention to the message of such songs.

“The great fear is that these contemporary songs are replacing the message songs entirely and are doing their part to produce a generation devoid of doctrinal certainty. A church’s music…is an essential part of its self-identity, its witnessing package, and even its survival kit.” Adventists’ Affirm, 1998, 8–21.

The ex-choir director of heaven uses his celebration music to charm people, to bind them to himself and to control them. He uses emotionally oriented religion that depends on feeling rather than on the word of God.

The Greatest Challenge Facing SDAs

Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, while at Andrews University, wrote in his doctorate thesis entitled, Receiving the Word, 38, the following, “The greatest challenge facing the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not come from the independent right, who operate from without, but rather from the liberal left, who are working from within. These moderate liberals seek to redefine historic Adventist beliefs according to their new views of the Bible. Indeed, as some of the Adventist scholars have begun using the historical-critical approaches of liberal theology, the church has been challenged in its distinctive truths, such as the prophetic significance of 1844, the necessity of Christ’s substitutionary atonement for sinners, and the self-understanding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as God’s end-time remnant. At the same time the church has been thrown into turmoil over abortion, polygamy, divorce and remarriage and women’s ordination and homosexuality.”

Can you imagine an Adventist professor of religion who wrote in the Spectrum of May 1993 on page 46 an article entitled, “Apocryphy, Who Needs It?” In the beginning of this article there is a thought-provoking question. “How seriously should Adventists take apocalyptic books like Daniel, Revelation and The Great Controversy?” This theologian answers, “Perhaps we should replace them with the gospel of love, acceptance and forgiveness.” This is the central message of the celebration movement and its worship services.

Contrary Advice

Professor Steve Daily, who taught at La Sierra University and was also their chaplain, is one of the most liberal among us today. He suggests some practical things Adventists can do to contribute to this goal. Among these are:

  1. We can cease to think or speak of ourselves as the remnant church and see ourselves as a part of God’s larger remnant.
  2. We can take advantage of the special opportunities we have to attend other churches, since they meet on a different day, to befriend them and learn from them and share with them and affirm the good things we see in them.
  3. Each of us can make a special effort to maintain active membership in at least one non-Adventist community service organization to combat our natural tendency to isolation.
  4. We can involve ourselves in inter-denominational Bible study and a charismatic intercessory prayer group to broaden our spiritual perspectives.

(Excerpted from Steve Daily’s book, Adventists for a New Generation, 315, 316.)

Such advice is absolutely contrary to the Spirit of Prophecy. Is this the time for Seventh-day Adventists to seek such new light on worship, church growth and learning from others? (See Early Writings, 124, 125.)

Let us never forget that God will finish His work in His church and then He will finish His work in the world. But if we, as a church, reject true justification by faith and continue to proclaim a false justification, then true revival and reformation will not take place. We will not receive the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain and we will never finish God’s work in this world. We will lose our identity, our credibility and the purpose for our existence.

What a tragedy this would be! May God give us wisdom, understanding, knowledge and power to fulfill this for His honor and glory and also for the salvation of the people of the world. Then we will go home to praise Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. If you have discovered that the church you attend has become a celebration church in doctrine, in music and worship, may God grant you heavenly wisdom to know what you can do to help restore a worship service in which God can bless. It may be that the Lord will lead you to a nearby church with a historic Seventh-day Adventist pastor. Praise God, He still has many. And if need be, God may lead you to a nearby home church or have you begin a home church in which it can be truly said, “Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

Uncertain Sounds

Whether we like it or not, we are on the battlefield of a spiritual war. Bullets are flying all around us. Planes soaring above us are dropping bombs, and field artillery is shelling us. Orders are being shouted at us from all sides, and to make matters worse, the orders are confusing and contradictory. Many of them consist of uncertain sounds.

What is an uncertain sound? Let us begin at the beginning. Sounds communicate; they send messages. We can all agree on that. Paul directs our minds to sounds used in military procedures. These sounds are all produced by the same instrument, the trumpet, but they do not all mean the same thing. There is a sound that says “Wake up,” and a sound that says “Go to sleep.” There is a sound that says “Advance,” and a sound that says “Retreat.” There can be great confusion if, instead of these clear signals, the soldiers hear a sound that they do not recognize and cannot identify. If they hear two contradictory sounds, such as “Advance” and “Retreat,” at the same time, the situation is much, much worse. The poor soldiers will not know what to do. They will be the victims of uncertain sounds—Which brings us to the subject of Christian music. We are being barraged today by music that purports to be Christian, but it sends two contradictory signals, one sensual and one spiritual, at the same time. One who makes this observation and comments on it can expect to stop some bullets being fired at him or her by enthusiasts of the “contemporary music.” They forcefully, if not fiercely, insist that the music does not communicate anything in particular. According to them, it is only the words that matter. “If the words are religious,” it is said, “they can be sung to any kind of music with the same results.”

But is this true? Can this statement bear up under investigation? Do sounds actually not communicate any message of their own?

Sending Contradictory Signals!

If sounds do not communicate a message of their own, why do we find in written materials so many references to persons who spoke in angry tones, etc.? We have no difficulty understanding these words. We are sure that no man has ever proposed to a lady in angry tones. Even the words “I love you,” if spoken in angry tones, would be unconvincing. The words and the tone would contradict each other, resulting in an uncertain sound. The lady would be perplexed and would doubtless reject the proposal.

When I was a boy, our family had a Border Shepherd dog whose name was “Pat.” He was normally quite a well-mannered dog, and when I would say to him, “Pat, come here,” he would come bounding joyously toward me. But I found that if I were displeased with him because he had dug in a flowerbed, or something of that nature, the command would not work. I would use the same words, but he would tuck his tail between his legs and slink away in the opposite direction. The words were nice, but I was not fooling him. He was reading the tones, the sounds. The argument that “sounds do not communicate a message of their own” would have been lost on him.

At Interesting Experiment

What about patterns or arrangements of tones, into what we call tunes? You can conduct a simple experiment to satisfy your mind on this question. Hymns that have the same metrical patterns can be sung to the same tunes. (See the metrical index in the back of your hymnal.) All to Jesus I surrender (number 573 in the older hymnal) can be sung to the tune of Watchman Blow the Gospel Trumpet, (number 619) and vice versa. Try it. The results are ludicrous. Here is a short list of other exchanges that can be made. (All numbers are in the older hymnal.)

630 Some Day the Silver Cord Will Break

585 The Lord’s Our Rock

123 There Was One Who Was Willing

626 Will There be Any Stars?

Again, I invite you to try it. Do it both ways. Sing the words of each to the tune of the other. I have seen people burst out laughing when the words of Watchman Blow the Gospel Trumpet were sung to the tune of All to Jesus I surrender. It just didn’t make any sense. The message communicated by the music, the sounds, was altogether different from the message communicated by the written words. The result is a mixed signal, an uncertain sound. Hearing it, you do not know what to do. You are in the same quandary as the soldiers who are given the trumpet command to “Advance” and the command to “Retreat” at the same time. If you want to explore this subject further, try exchanging the words and tunes in these songs:

223 Come Ye Disconsolate

185 Heir Of The Kingdom

130 O Sacred Head Now Wounded

279 Live Out Thy Life Within Me

The results will range from the ludicrous to the utterly blasphemous. You have now discovered a very important principle of truth. Words and music can communicate different, even contradictory, messages. For a final bit of evidence, consider this situation. There is in the hymnal a song (167) that should be greatly loved, for two reasons. First, it is the oldest Christian song that we know of, having been written by Clement of Alexandria about the year 200 AD. Second, it expresses the church’s concern for its young people, as evidenced by its title, Shepherd of Tender Youth. But I have never heard it used, and I doubt that you have either. Why? Because, although the words are appealing, the tune is hopeless; it is just “blah.” But, try a comparison. Sing the words of this song to the tune of number 510, My Country ‘Tis of Thee. It immediately becomes very singable and satisfying.

Cultural Conditioning

But that will introduce another problem. You and I will not be comfortable with this combination of words and music, because we have so long associated the music with the words of our patriotic hymn, My Country ‘Tis of Thee. We have been culturally conditioned. But is this the entire truth? Are all of our responses to music just the result of cultural conditioning? We must admit that some are, but certainly not all. There is a distinct difference between responses to tones or tunes that are universal and responses that are cultural. Responses that are universal are true for all people at all times. This is not true of responses that are cultural.

While I was teaching at Atlantic Union College, I sometimes heard the students singing a song that they obviously appreciated, entitled, Search Me O God. I thought it was nice, but it did not mean the same thing to me that it meant to them, because in Hawaii I had first learned the tune as the Maori Farewell, with entirely different secular words. In Hawaii, at that time, the Maori Farewell and Aloha Oe were sung to close every social gathering. I never troubled the students about it, because it was not a universal principle, only my own cultural conditioning. I have the same problem when I hear the Christian song Down From His Glory, because I first heard the tune as O Solo Mio. Again, this is my personal problem, and not a universal truth, affecting all people alike. I have been told by a missionary who had served in Africa that in the area where he lived, someone had written Christian words to the tune of Old Black Joe. He could not appreciate it, because of his cultural conditioning, but the local people valued it highly.

So it would be foolish to deny that cultural conditioning exists, but it would be equally foolish to affirm it as a universal principle of truth, applying to all people at all times. It would be worse than foolish to argue that sounds are wholly neutral, communicating no message of their own. This would be an insult to our intelligence, flying in the face of the self-evident realities all about us. It would be like denying that fire is hot, or that ice is cold, or that water is wet, or that band music makes us feel like marching.

Music of Another Dimension

Consider, then, our present condition. We have churches that exist for the purpose of communicating spiritual messages. There are bars, nightclubs, and brothels that exist for the purpose of communicating vile, sensual messages. Both groups have, for centuries, used music to further their own ends, to help them accomplish their distinctive goals. The distinction between the two types of music has been clear and distinct. The churches have used words matched with tunes in such a way that there was no conflict between the two messages. There were no uncertain sounds. The bars, nightclubs, and brothels also used words matched with tunes in such a way that there was no conflict between the two messages. There were no uncertain sounds. But now…

Now we are confronted by an incredible intermingling of the two types of music. I do not mean that spiritual music is now being used in bars, nightclubs, and brothels. The devil, who presides over them, is not that stupid. But the musical forms that have for many years been used in the bars, nightclubs, and brothels are now appearing in churches!

Imitating Our Heros

How has this been accomplished? To a large extent through television. Television has introduced the musical forms, the instruments, the style of performing and the style of singing from the bars, nightclubs, and brothels, into our homes. Our children grow up with these musical forms and accept what they hear as the norm. Thus they become terribly confused. Then when asked to sing for Sabbath school or church, they imitate the singing style of the television artists to whom they have been listening. Witness the heavy breathing into the microphone held close to the lips, the sliding and slurring of notes, the meaningless hand gestures in the air, the facial contortions, the squalling, child-like tones, mingled with half-whispered tones, and the heavy sensual rhythm.

All of these things spell sensuality, which is exactly what the television people want. They are in league with Hollywood, and they are working on the principle that “sex sells.” That is why what they present is consciously and deliberately sensual. They know what they are doing, and they do it very well (from their standpoint). As an illustration of the problem that we are discussing, I once heard a young gospel singer tell of a singing institute that he was planning to conduct. He reported happily that he was going to have some singers there from Hollywood to do part of the teaching. I could scarcely credit my senses. Bringing teachers from Hollywood, the sensuality cesspool of the nation, if not the world, to teach young people how to sing in church! The devil must have been convulsed in hysterical laughter.

Christian Rock?

That is where we are on the battlefield. Some desperately confused church leaders are laboring diligently to bring this mingled music, with its mixed signals and its uncertain sounds, into our own church. Some of the members are deceived by it, while others are troubled but do not know exactly why. The leaders seek to disguise it with high-sounding words such as, “celebration music,” “contemporary music,” “culturally relevant music,” etc., but it is really nothing more than bar, nightclub, and brothel music. Thus the leaders practice deception on innocent church members, whom they mock, deride, and sneer at for their discomfort with the musical selections presented. They stubbornly insist that bar, nightclub, and brothel music can be combined with religious words and be acceptable worship to the God of purity and holiness. Some even go so far as to speak approvingly of “Christian rock.” This is a contradiction in terms. “Rock” music is consciously and deliberately vile. If there can be Christian rock, then there can also be Christian pimps and Christian prostitutes. But angry arguments notwithstanding, there is no such thing as “Christian Rock.”

A closely related phenomenon is the tendency for singers to mangle and mutilate the Christian songs they sing by omitting notes that were written by the composer and substituting notes of their own. This is like walking into a museum where beautiful, historic works of art are being exhibited, then seizing a paint brush and adding some strokes of your own. To do this is to demonstrate an enormous lack of respect for the original artist, along with an equal lack of respect for the people who want to see the work of the artist, not your work. I would earnestly appeal to those who are tempted to do this to write their own songs, and leave the musical treasures of the church alone. They do not need your touching up, your interpretation.

I once listened to a fine sermon on television, after which a singer came onstage. As soon as the pianist started the introduction, I recognized it as The Holy City, and I instinctively reached for the muting button. Then I stopped myself, thinking, “Surely he would not mangle and mutilate that grand old song.” But I was wrong. By the time he was finished I fervently wished that I had made use of the mute button.

In Spiritual Warfare, Content Counts

Let us remember that it is not the label that counts; it is the content. It is not the instrument that counts; it is the manner of playing it. There are many labels being used, such as Contemporary, Country, Nashville, Western, Celebration, Culturally Relevant, etc., and many different instruments are being employed. None of these labels or instruments necessarily indicate sensual music, but it very often appears in all of them. Let us train ourselves to quickly judge them by their content, and as quickly reject all music that is carnal and sensual, regardless of the words. We cannot afford to do otherwise. The issues are too great.

We are on a spiritual battlefield, and the battle is nearing its climax. This is no time for mixed signals, for uncertain sounds. This is no time for the church to listen to those who, in defiance of reality, stubbornly insist that spiritual messages can be communicated with carnal and sensual music. This is the time for messages in words and music that will keep us unperplexed and unconfused, and help us meet successfully the enormous challenges of the time of trouble such as never was.

For further information on this subject, I strongly recommend the two special journals dealing with music that have been published by Adventists Affirm. You can reach them at:

PO Box 36

Berrien Springs, MI 49103

The journals cost $3.00 each, and they are well worth it.

Go, Set a Watchman

As spring weather approaches, we are excited to know that God has a wonderful plan for all who commit themselves to His service. Need we remind you that we are living in a day in which the messages of the prophets must be understood and proclaimed?

All that the Prophets Have Spoken

We know that Jesus lived and preached, constantly under the knowledge that He was fulfilling the words of the prophets. “Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished.’” Luke 18:31. Remember, Jesus upbraided the two disciples on the road to Emmaus for not believing what the prophets spoke. “Then He said unto them, ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” Luke 24:25. The Apostle Paul clearly states that the prophets speak to these last days. “Yea and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.’” Acts 3:24.

John the Baptist also understood and preached the message of the prophets. He needed no new revelation, no new doctrine, and no novel truth. He preached from Isaiah! “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!’” Matthew 3:1-3.

We do not need some new, novel thing for which itching ears now seek. We need to hear what the prophets spoke about this, our day. They were accurate regarding Christ in every detail. They must also be right about their warnings and admonitions to us!

All through the New Testament you see events unfolding in order that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled. “When the evening was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils; and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.’” Matthew 8:16, 17. “But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all; and charged them that they should not make Him known: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet…” Matthew 12:15-17.

A Devastating Vision

Isaiah the prophet saw the glory of Jesus centuries ago; and he preached Christ in his own day. Isaiah not only saw the future Lord and Saviour; he also had a hard, devastating vision of the very days in which we live. His vision in Isaiah 21 must be understood, heeded, and proclaimed! It is a message for this time!

Isaiah begins in 21:2: “A grievous [harsh] vision is declared unto me;” The prophet does not give us the details of this horrifying vision; but his insight into the future was so devastating, it violently agitated him. Isaiah revealed the vision’s impact on him: “Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath turned into fear unto me.” Isaiah 21:3–4.

What caused such convulsions in Isaiah’s body? Why did his heart beat wildly? Why such anguish of soul? He saw a storm roaring in from the desert. It was a massive enemy army; riders, horsemen in pairs, trains of donkeys, and camels. The prophet sees the coming downfall of the Babylonian system. He hears in his spiritual ear, he sees in his spiritual eye the downfall of all that is of this world. He sees the end of pride, ambition, wickedness, and corruption. “Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods He hath broken unto the ground.” Isaiah 21:9.

Isaiah saw the coming judgment and destruction, and he cried out,”Pay close attention, very close attention.” Isaiah 21:8. “and he harkened diligently with much heed:” He calls out, “Rise up–oil the shields.” “Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.” Isaiah 21:5. But no one is listening! Instead, Isaiah 21:5 says, “They set the table, they spread out the cloth, they eat, and drink…”

Get Ready—Destruction Cometh!

Indescribable judgments are at the door; massive armies are marching outside of the gate; the day of reckoning has come! The prophet is shouting, “Pay attention! Get ready! Oil the shields! Put on the whole armor!” But they ignore the warnings of the prophet! They go about their ways, eating, drinking, making merry, spreading out a feast table of prosperity, success, and entertainment. They are deaf! They do not want to hear about the mounting gloom outside the gate! They have their own “Happy Days” prophets sitting at the head of their tables. While they sit with them on ivory couches, they prophesy smooth things. “…this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers, ‘See not,’ and to the prophets, ‘Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.’” Isaiah 30:9, 10.

What a vivid vision Isaiah had of our present day. Here are alarmed watchmen blowing a trumpet, begging the unconcerned to wake up, to prepare for a day of disaster! But the crowds spread their tables and sit down to feast, dance, and play! It is not just that they ignore him (the prophet), they shout to him, ‘Enough of your doom and gloom! You’ve been on the wall too long! Why don’t you ever give us a good word? Why so rough, so harsh, so negative?”

I ask you, if the watchman keeps quiet, if he gets weary of warning, if he does relent and ease up, will that change anything? Will that stop the destruction? No! Whether or not the people will listen, God is setting His watchmen in place! “For thus hath the Lord said unto me, ‘Go, set a watchman let him declare what he seeth.’” Isaiah 21:6. God has set up faithful watchmen in these troubled times. They see the gathering storm of divine judgment and they are appointed to warn the people.

We know that the Old Testament prophets and shepherds were set as watchmen. Some were called seers because they walked with God so closely they could see what others could not. They could see the approaching enemy; they could see into the future, their warnings came from the very heart of God. God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.’” Ezekiel 3:17.

The Watchmen on the Walls

God spoke through Isaiah, “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day or night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Isaiah 62:6, 7.

This should greatly encourage the holy remnant! It should bring hope to all of God’s people who sigh and cry over the abominations in the house of the Lord! Those who claim to be purest and persecuted for righteousness sake when all the time they are covering up their sin. Those who are going around as talebearers should take heed before it is too late. God has set up holy watchmen who will never shut up! Night and day, they will blow the trumpet and warn the people until God’s house is cleansed and awakened!

Some are saying, “This message of impending judgment by self-styled prophets will pass away. These ridiculous warnings, these awesome thunderings, these harsh visions will die out.” Not a chance! God has posted His watchmen! God has instructed them to “Keep not silent!” I will continue to preach, “Repent” from your sin and then receive God’s forgiveness and then be restored to God’s true remnant church. These sin lovers will continue to call God’s servants, self-appointed and misinformed. They can call me any name they choose. However, I will not be hindered in my mission. I have been set in place by divine authority!

The New Testament is a call to every servant of God to watch. “Verily I say unto you, ‘This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away; but My words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, [worldliness] and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.’”

Paul warns the present day ministry, “Watch ye! Stand fast in the faith, act like men, be strong!” 1 Corinthians 16:13. For three years Paul stood watch over the Corinthian church. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears.” Acts 20: 28–32.

Watch! Warn! Cry Night and Day!

To the overseers, to bishops, to pastors, he says the same thing! “Watch! Warn! Everyone, night and day with tears!” Paul said of the true ministers, “They watch for your soul.” That is the test of a true watchman! Does he watch out for his own interests, his own dreams, and his own ambitions? Or does he watch for souls? If Paul had to preach to the ministers of today, he would deliver the same message he gave to young Timothy. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry…” 2 Timothy 4:3–6.

Isaiah’s vision focused on a cry coming to his ears “out of the land of the lawless.” “The oracle [or burden, or cry] concerning Edom…one keeps calling to me from Seir.” Isaiah 21:11. Genesis 36:8 says that Edom is Esau. God said, “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains [territory] and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” Malachi 1:3. Malachi gives us God’s view of what Edom and Esau represents: “Men shall call them the territory of the lawless, and the people with whom Jehovah hath indignation against until times eternal.” Malachi 1:4 Rotterman’s Original Hebrew.

What is this cry coming out of the territory of the lawless? It is the very same cry arising out of religious America! We have become the land of the lawless. We are those who have rejected the Lord and against whom God is indignant! Here is the cry from the land of the lawless: “Watchman, how far gone is the night? (NAS) The King James version reads, “Watchman, what is the night?” But the Hebrew text is actually, “How far gone is the night?” Isaiah 21:11.

There was no cry, “What must we do to be redeemed? How can we repent and turn to God? How can we prepare to meet the enemy?” The only question being asked by these deluded, unrepentant children of God was, “How much longer until the good times return? How soon will a new day dawn, so we can return to our feasting and drinking?”

A New Day Dawning

Mark my words, the day has already come. Multitudes of prosperity lovers led by their success preachers share one great concern, to bring in a bright, new day of endless prosperity and bliss. When the darkness of recession and depression begins to fall all around, they cry out, ‘How long will it last? How soon until we are back in the sunlight of good times? How deep, how long will be the darkness? They prophesy great things and prosperous times just ahead. The Scripture that says, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand” means something very different to them. They see that as a promise that God is going to set up His earthly kingdom soon! No imminent return of Christ. No going up to meet the Lord in the air! They have become so earthbound, they cannot see giving it up even to meet Him in glory!

This is the cry of the New Age people! New Age Christians! Or professing Seventh-day Adventists who are hiding in sin. It is the cry of the spreading gospel of the Kingdom Preachers: “A new day is dawning! A day of earthly peace and prosperity!” they boast. “God is going to give us the wealth of the world; we will become kings—take dominion over all government, all science, all law and legislation.” They are no longer for Mark 13:26, which says, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”

They evidently do not believe the words of Jesus when He warned, “On this earth you will suffer and be persecuted.” They reject Christ’s warning that the church will be “hated and scorned” among men. “And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.” Luke 21:17. Christ is no longer expected to return. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2. They do not believe Paul’s warning in
1 Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they shall say, ‘Peace and safety;’ then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Nevertheless, Jesus bluntly said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” His reign is in the hearts of men.

Return and Repent

Hear the answer of the watchmen. “The watchman said, ‘The morning cometh and also the night, if ye will inquire, inquire ye: Return—Come.” Isaiah 21:12. He is saying, “For those who return and repent, there is a new day coming—but for those who are living in the land of the lawless, bound by the spirit of Esau, with its lust and evil, there is nothing but night!”

Isaiah went on to describe what that meant for the backslidden and unconcerned. “For it is a day of trouble [confusion] and the treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains.” Isaiah 22:5. Those who live for self, who lust for success, power, and earthly dominion, will awaken to a day of perplexity and unprecedented trouble.

I have received many newsletters from one Seventh-day Adventist physician who talks about all of the mission work he supposedly supports. The fact is, he uses these works to generate support to pay for his own overseas trips, and now to support his adulterous relationship. Yet he portrays himself as a humble purist who is persecuted by all of the other self-supporting workers because of his strong stands. Friends, he is only standing on sinking sand. He is not fooling anyone but himself, for God knows it all.

What makes this so frightening is that Isaiah is speaking of our time! Only a holy, separated remnant will comprise the Holy Zion. The city is coming down from God! While many preach about a new day of earthly might, glory and dominion—it will actually be that dreaded day of perplexity, sorrow, and cries for help!

The preachers of Paradise Restored are deluded prophets. That is easily proven by God’s Word. Here is unshakable proof that God has not sent them, but that they are deceived and speak their own imaginations.

“Then said I, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured [lasting] peace in this place.’ Then the Lord said unto me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision, and divination, and a thing of naught, and the deceit of their heart [or deception of their own minds.]’”

There are holy watchmen and there are evil watchmen. We live in a day when many watchmen who were once mightily anointed are falling asleep in sin! They are justifying their sin and they continue to live in sin because they are pleasure seekers. They are ruled by their flesh.

Searching for the Bridegroom

Let me share with you one of the saddest indictments against evil watchmen in God’s Word. “By night on my bed I sought Him whom my soul loveth: I sought Him, but I found Him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek Him whom my soul loveth: I sought Him, but I found Him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: it was but a little that I passed from them, but I found Him whom my soul loveth: I beheld Him and would not let Him go, until I had brought Him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.” Solomon 3:1–4.

Here is the bride—the church—the people of God who are truly hungering and thirsting for their Lord! They want Him! They yearn for His love and presence. It is a seeking people! They do not know how to reach Him! There is a confrontation with certain of the watchmen. If anyone should know where to find Him, the watchman should. Who could miss this Man so well described: “His head is of the most fine gold; His locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; His lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: His belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely…” Solomon 5:11–16.

Of the watchman she asks, “Have you seen Him whom my soul loveth?” In other words, “Lead me to Him whom my soul longs for! You are the watchman—bring me to Him!”

How sad these words are: “It was but a little that I passed from them; but I have found Him whom my soul loveth.” The bride is confessing, “When I got away from the blind watchmen, then I found Him!”

Blind Watchmen

They could not help me, Isaiah said, “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark: sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” Isaiah 56:10.

Think of it! In Isaiah 21 the watchmen are awake; they are calling the people to action, speaking only the truth; faithful; watching day and night. Now in Isaiah 56 some have fallen asleep. They are lying down like a bunch of lazy dogs. They refuse to blow the trumpet! They have left off warnings! Some are asleep on the wall. They have become spiritually blind and ignorant, with no discernment left.

What happened? Isaiah said they became self-centered! Greedy! Filled with lust and sensuality! They divorce their wives and marry younger ones. They need new thrills. “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. ‘Come ye,’ say thus, ‘I will fetch wine and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.’” Isaiah 56:11, 12.

Isaiah lamented, “The righteous man perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart.” Instead, some became greedy, looking out for themselves—their own dreams and plans—having fallen into lust and love for pleasure. They have opted for comfort, acceptance, and respect among men. They have been corrupted by a lust for power, position, and money.

Look around you today, as many ministers fall! Look at the supposed health educators. They are living for self. They do not hold to the basic principles of marriage, accountability, honesty. The worm of self is eating like a cancer, destroying the love of many. So few now weep for the lost. Fewer yet are taking to heart the backsliding of God’s people! There is greed, self-promotion, self-seeking, and self-indulgence!

God’s Grief

What grief God must carry over the backslidden, blind watchmen! His grief goes beyond their spiritual blindness. Beyond the pride and greed. Beyond sensuality and self-centeredness. It is a two-fold grief!

First, grief because God can never delight in the fall of a single created being. He laments the loss of their love! The loss of their communion! The loss of a chosen son or daughter! The loss of one so important to His work on earth! Saul falls and the prophet Samuel weeps for him. Absolom rebels, is killed in rebellion, yet David laments, “Absolom, my son—my son!” Will not God lament over the loss of His rebellious, fallen watchmen?

Second, it is the grief of having to turn corrupted watchmen over to their sins! I call it the dread release. You will find it in Romans 1; but also throughout God’s Word. God never removes His offer of grace and mercy! His mercy is everlasting! But when men who once knew the truth, preached it, embraced it, then became bound and enslaved to creature lusts, and they refuse to let it go, refuse to walk in holiness before a holy God, then God must release them to their sins! You see this dread release in Ezekiel 20:39, “As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God. Go ye, serve ye everyone his idols…”

God is releasing this Christian nation to her idols. He is saying, “Go to your TV idol! Go to your secret lover! Go to your pornographic cassettes! Go to your filthy magazines! Go to your hidden sin! If you will have your idols rather than walk wholly separated in holiness, then go to the object of your desires.”

Tearing Away the Veil

This is the tragic end of the greedy, blind watchmen. “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn Himself, and was gone: my soul failed when He spake: I sought Him, but I could not find Him; I called Him, but He gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” Solomon 5:6, 7.

Can you believe it? The blind watchmen are beating up on the bride! They are wounding the bride! They are tearing off her veil, her covering of modesty. Behind it she can blush, she can close her eyes to all others so she will not behold sin.

Think on the following points:

  1. All of the rock concerts going on in God’s house.
  2. The senseless choreographed dancing.
  3. The blatant entertainment!
  4. The emphasis on materialism, success, and self-improvement.
  5. The cancerous growth of worldliness in the churches.
  6. The lack of grief over sin among believers.
  7. The acceptance of rock, punk, and disco music in God’s house.
  8. The foolishness, the lightness, the off-color joking.
  9. The drinking and fornicating.

These are the fault of the greedy, backslidden watchmen who are tearing at the bride’s veil! Once again the blind watchmen are “taking away the veil…” The blind watchmen became candidates as rulers of darkness and angels of light. They end up preaching another Jesus, another gospel! Notice these very clear warnings. “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:2–4.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according o their works. ” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

What of the Watchmen?

I listen to the so-called doctors, health reformers, as they talk so sweetly about loving Jesus and of their desire to take Him where the world is. They sound so pious, so humble, and so sincere. They say the right words, but their hearts do not belong wholly to the Lord. God says of them, “And the Lord heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken. Oh, that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear me and keep all my Commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons, forever.” Deuteronomy 5:28, 29. NAS.

Some blind watchmen in the Northwest have introduced dancing with others’ spouses in their churches. They dance for hours with the mate of someone else, staring intently into each other’s eyes, calling the affair a spiritual connection. An intricate and evil doctrine has been concocted to support it as a so-called “new move of the Holy Spirit.” It is causing divorces, suicide among the adults, and terror among the children of those caught up in it. Many hundreds are involved, and adultery is rampant among them. The leaders of this diabolical doctrine preach so sweetly about Jesus, about the bride of Christ; and their words at times sound right. But they are the prophecies and doctrines of devils. Those involved are devil-inspired angels of light, come to deceive, if possible, even the elect. These are those referred to in the Song of Solomon who “wound the bride, smite her, and strip her veil from her! God has promised to deal with them with His holy fire of jealousy. “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26, 27.

Thank God, the true and faithful watchmen on the wall will never compromise! They will not stop warning the righteous about the seductions and infiltrations of the wicked one among God’s people. No sincere Christian need be in doubt about who to listen to in these days of many voices.

Tests of the True Prophetic Warnings

There are two very clear and unmistakable tests of all prophetic warnings:

1 True prophecy seeks to turn Christians away from sin. “But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and the evil of their deeds.” Jeremiah 23:22 NAS.

Heed the voice of those who seek to turn you away from wickedness. Avoid those who speak soothing words with no reference to sin. Those who are justifying their own sin. Yet, when you ask them a direct question, they talk in circles. They think they are clever, yet they are only deceived.

2 Prophetic warnings, from the beginning, spoke of judgments upon the wicked. “Yet hear now this word which I am about to speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people! The prophets who were before me and before you from ancient times prophesied against many lands and against great kingdoms, of war and of calamity and of pestilence.” Jeremiah 28:7, 8. NAS.

Those who warn of coming judgment are in good company. They speak the same word of all the prophets “from the beginning.” I declare with all assurance that the warnings now going forth from God’s holy watchmen are the greatest evidences of His love to this generation. He loves His people enough to prepare them; to give them time to repent and prepare the way of the Lord in holiness! Those who love the Lord will be thankful. Those who are at ease in Zion will be repelled and indignant. May God richly bless all of His true children.

Worship the Lord in Holiness

Worship is a very serious topic. I am deeply concerned and troubled about the current worship trends. In a recent discussion among some Christian ministers, I heard one make the statement, “You can never negotiate the gospel message. It is non-negotiable.”

Worship Style is Not Negotiable

Like the gospel message, worship style is not negotiable. Why do I say that? Because God has plainly lain out the kind of worship man is to follow.

“And it shall come to pass [If the Word says it will come to pass, you can believe it will come to pass,] that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:23. Heaven is God’s throne. What will take place in heaven at His throne? I see an important word; the key word in this reading is “worship.”

We are going to worship God in heaven. As I began to think about this message, I turned to my wife, Marjorie, and I said, “I cannot believe this. What are we thinking about as a people?”

After reading Isaiah 66, some serious questions must be asked:

Is Jesus coming soon?

What kind of worship will we attend in heaven?

Will we have the type of worship that is being promoted on the videos, “Are you ready for Church?” and “Are You Ready for Worship?” If you have not seen these videos, you need to see them. [Editor’s Note: These videos are available from Steps to Life.]

Will we have the type of worship displayed by the youth at the General Conference session in Toronto, Canada? It was worse, as far as I am concerned, because it went to every nook and corner of the world. So the answer is, absolutely not! We will not have that kind of worship in heaven.

Where do the General Conference leaders get the idea that we will have the type of worship in heaven or in the new earth that consists of dancing around, clapping hands and playing drums? Will this be the style of worship in the new church and the true church in heaven? No, it will not.

Habakkuk 2:20 says, “…the Lord is in His holy temple. let all the earth keep silence before Him.”

God Gave the Order of His Service

“…God Himself gave the order of His service, exalting it high above everything of a temporal nature.” Child Guidance, 540. Is that not a powerful statement?

A great man of the Bible spoke of the sacredness of the place where the Lord dwells. “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place!” What did he say? “How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:16, 17.

Think of the General Conference session and of the “Are You Ready for Worship?” video in context with this text. Would God want to attend such a place? “God is high and holy; and to the humble, believing soul, His house on earth, the place where His people meet for worship, is as the gate of heaven.” The Faith I Live By, 188. As the gate of heaven!

What will heaven be like? Have we ever thought about that? If we did, would we act like we are doing in our churches across this country today?

Our Church, a Sanctuary?

Is our church a sanctuary? Is it a place set aside for worship? Is God supposed to be there? “And let them [He is speaking here of the people.] make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8.

“Those who assemble to worship Him should put away every evil thing. [Did they put away every evil thing on those videos or at the General Conference session? I do not think so.] Unless they worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness [Do you want to guess what is written next?], their coming together will be of no avail.” The Faith I Live, 189. In other words, He cannot place a blessing on it.

Totally Unacceptable to God

This is what we need to consider. With a turning away from Scripture and from the Spirit of Prophecy explanations of the true worship of God in His holy temple, there has come in a worship style that is totally unacceptable to God.

The current style of worship and of music are driving, and will drive, the presence of the Lord away. I believe that! God, in His time, will deal with the irreverence. What is the problem? Many have forgotten that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (See Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10.) O worship the Lord in holiness.

The Gate of Heaven

“…the Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20. Does that not mean reverence to you? “God Himself gave the order of His service, exalting it high above everything of a temporal nature.” The Faith I Live By, 189. Now notice this: “God is high and holy; and to the humble, believing soul, His house on earth, the place [sanctuary, church, a place of worship] where His people meet for worship, is as the gate of heaven.” Ibid., 188.

Does that sound like church is a boring place to be? My wife and I have watched the video—”Are You Ready for Church?”—and have witnessed over two hours of the last of the General Conference session regarding the method of worship by the young people with the puppet show that was shown to all the world. Then Jan Paulson, (President of the General Conference) put his blessing on it and had prayer, encouraging them to move forward with it. My heart aches!

It is Not Okay!

I have never been so concerned as to where the Seventh-day Adventist Church is headed in confusion and the wrong type of worship that will be used, as I now am. How many will be misled by this? What concerns me is if down the road you will not hear, “Well, the Conference does it.” “The leaders do it, so it must be okay.” The only thing is, it is not okay because the Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy say it is not.

Many Seventh-day Adventists have lost sight of respecting the unseen presence of God the Father, Christ and the angels in our midst at worship time. I got to thinking and it has just struck me so powerfully.

Remember Exodus 3:5 where God instructed Moses to take off his shoes and told him that he was standing on holy ground? The ground was made holy by the presence of God. Who are we, then, to say we will do as we please? How does God feel about it? Look at Joshua 5:15. God told Joshua the same thing: “Remove your shoes.” Why? “You are on holy ground.”

The presence of God in the worship service today is openly violated by many. I hear now, quite often, the statement, “Church is boring, dull, dead.” Brother and Sister, I am going to tell you to be careful. I urge you, be careful of these words. If our daily relationship to God is on a personal, consecrated basis (Did you catch that?) church worship will not be boring.

Church is not a nightclub. A church is not a place to have fun and games. It is a place to reverence God. If the service is boring, then the people who make up the church are doing something wrong, and they might need to look at how they are addressing God. There may need to be a change in the worship service to make it proven and acceptable worship to God and of God, rather than acceptable to man or to the congregation.

Let me share a deep concern that I have. This concern is based upon the thinking of many church people today regarding how they worship, their respect for church worship and so forth.

What would you do, how would our members react if we had to offer animal sacrifices? Are you thankful that you do not have to do this?

“‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.’ Romans 12:1 …Every morning and evening a lamb of a year old was burned upon the altar, with its appropriate meat offering, thus symbolizing the daily consecration of the nation to Jehovah, and their constant dependence upon the atoning blood of Christ. God expressly directed that every offering presented for the service of the sanctuary should be [perfect] ‘without blemish…’ Only an offering ‘without blemish’ could be a symbol of His perfect purity who was to offer Himself as ‘a Lamb without blemish and without spot.’ 1 Peter 1:19. The apostle Paul points to these sacrifices as an illustration of what the followers of Christ are to become.” The Faith I Live By, 196.

Morning and Evening Prayer

Are we one of these followers? We are to become perfect! He says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.… The hours appointed for the morning and the evening sacrifice were regarded as sacred, and they came to be observed as the set time for worship throughout the Jewish nation…. In this custom, Christians have an example for morning and evening prayer.” Ibid.

Should we still do that? “While God condemns a mere round of ceremonies, without the spirit of worship, He looks with great pleasure upon those who love Him, bowing morning and evening to seek pardon for sins committed, to present their requests for needed blessings.” Ibid.

What do we get from this? If you had to bring a lamb when you came to church, what kind of lamb would you have to bring? You would have to bring one without blemish. Would He accept anything less? No. The question is, Would you like to have to do that every Sabbath?

So let us go a little bit farther with this. We are told we are to keep silent before Him; “The house is the sanctuary for the family.…” Ibid.,189. What house? “The house is the sanctuary for the family, and the closet or the grove the most retired place for individual worship; but the church is the sanctuary for the congregation.” Ibid. So, in other words, there needs to be a little sanctuary in your home. Our home should be a place where angels love to dwell. (See The Adventist Home, 19, 426.)

“In the name of Jesus we may come before Him with confidence, but we must not approach Him with the boldness of presumption. [Oh, it does not make any difference. He will enjoy what I am doing here, jumping around and clapping my hands, as long as I am praising Him.], as though He were on a level with ourselves.” The Faith I Live By, 189. That is the problem. He is not on the same level we are.

“There are those who address the great and all-powerful and holy God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable, as they would address an equal, or even an inferior. There are those who conduct themselves in His house as they would not presume to do in the audience– chamber of an earthy ruler.” Ibid. Do you get that picture? These earthly rulers, like the Queen of England, when people go near them, they reverence them, do they not?

True Reverence

“These should remember that they are in His sight whom seraphim adore. Those who assemble to worship Him should put away every evil thing. Unless they worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness, their coming together will be of no avail.” Ibid.

So you only have a form, but notice the next sentence. “It is your privilege, dear young friends, to glorify God upon the earth. In order to do this, you must direct your minds away from things that are superficial, frivolous, and unimportant, to those that are of eternal worth.” Ibid.

This has to do with the sanctuary. Jacob said the Lord is in this place. He realized the Lord was there. “True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence….. [Not by jumping up and down!] God is high and holy; and to the humble, believing soul, His house on earth, the place where His people meet for worship, is as the gate of heaven. The song of praise, the words spoken by Christ’s ministers, are God’s appointed agencies to prepare a people for the church above.” Ibid., 188. There we will go from one Sabbath to another worshiping Him.

Is that the kind of worship that we have been talking about? Is that the kind of worship we are going to get ready and take with us? No. “The song of praise, the words spoken by Christ’s ministers, are God’s appointed agencies to prepare a people for the church above, for that loftier worship into which there can enter nothing that is impure.… God sees every [How much? All!.] irreverent thought or action, and it is registered in the books of heaven.” Ibid.

Practice Reverence

Those things that we saw in the videos and at the General Conference session, did that skip detection? “Nothing is hid from His all–searching eye. If you have formed in any degree the habit of inattention and indifference in the house of God, exercise the powers you have to correct it…. Practice reverence until it becomes a part of yourself.” Ibid.

You know, I cannot play a piano but my wife can. Why? She has done something that I have not done. She has practiced! Anybody who can play a piano has to spend many hours in practice. And here it says we are to practice. “Practice reverence until it becomes a part of you.”

If we had to carry out the sacrificial services today, how many people would be attending with the mindset of what this has just said to us? How does this compare with the slackness many are showing in worshiping God today? How many would come to worship if they had to sacrifice an animal? If we have a hard time coming to church and recognizing that it is the place where God’s presence dwells, and if we find it is a chore, what would we think about bringing an animal?

You know about the sanctuary service. Did everybody roam around in the olden times, just wherever they wanted to, go in when they wanted, and bring whatever animal they wanted to bring? No, they did not.

I hear a lot of times that we are too stern; we are too rigid, and we want too much order. But I tell you, God is a God of order. Are we thankful that Jesus was willing to sacrifice His blood once and for all? Are we thankful enough that we, as worshipers, show Jesus reverence for the love that He has shown for us?

Worship Services an Abomination

It would not be easy for me to bring a little innocent lamb. I will admit that. But the Lamb has already been slain. I do not have to do that. Are you getting my point here? We have been carrying on services in our churches across this country that are nothing but an abomination!

Hebrews 9:13, 14 tells us of the continually applied blood.”‘For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ… purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?’ [The] Redeemer… urges them to accept the salvation He offers them. The heifer, having been slain in a most solemn manner, the priest, clothed in pure white garments, took the blood in his hands as it issued from the body of the victim and cast it toward the temple seven times.…” The Faith I Live By, 200.

Are you not so thankful as we read this that Christ has made the sacrifice and we do not have to do it? “The body of the heifer was burned to ashes, which signified a whole and ample sacrifice.… This ceremony was repeated several times… and was done as a purification from sin. Thus Christ, in His own spotless righteousness, after shedding His precious blood, enters into the holy place to cleanse the sanctuary. And there the crimson current is brought into the service of reconciling God to man. Some may look upon this slaying of the heifer as a meaningless ceremony. [I am not so sure but what if this were done today we would say, “It is too big a deal. Let us just cut it out.”], but it was done by the command of God and bears a deep significance that has not lost its application to the present time.… If it was necessary in ancient times for the unclean to be purified by the blood of sprinkling, how essential for those living in the perils of the last days [Are we?], and exposed to the temptations of Satan, to have the blood of Christ applied to their [our] hearts daily.” Ibid., 200.

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:12.

I want to paint the scene here again. “In the spring of A.D. 31, Christ, the true Sacrifice, was offered on Calvary. When Christ on the cross cried out, ‘It is finished,’ the veil of the temple was rent in twain. This veil was significant to the Jewish nation. It was of most costly material, of purple and gold, and was of great length and breadth. At the moment when Christ breathed His last, there were witnesses in the temple who beheld the strong, heavy material rent by unseen hands from top to bottom. This act signified to the heavenly universe, and to a world corrupted by sin. [Is this world corrupted by sin today?] that a new and living way had been opened to the fallen race, that all sacrificial offerings terminated in the one great offering of the Son of God.” The Faith I Live By, 201.

Those who are promoting such services need to have a new look, a new realization that Christ died for them individually. Acts 5:29 says, “…We ought to obey God rather than men.” Can we not at least, as people called out of darkness to the marvelous light, worship God in a manner that will lead to eternal life?

Take a Long, Hard Look

I am speaking plainly here. I believe with all my heart that there is a great need for independent, home churches to take a hard look at the manner in which they address the matter of how to worship God in His holy temple. What you will do with it is up to you. I hope and pray that you will take this and heed it. We have to become converted people, dear ones. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know one thing, and that is that the Lord has laid a heavy burden on my heart.

With the worship I saw on the “Are You Ready for Worship?” and “Are You Ready for Church?” videos and the General Conference session, “Worship Decorum,” I think we, as a people, need an altar call. I know this one thing for sure, in the not too distant future, God is going to deal with this situation, whether we like it or not.

The world is sick, it is dying. Recently there were one thousand earthquakes in one day. This is unheard of. In the past, a thousand earthquakes probably would not happen in 30 years.

People are killing. People have all kinds of beliefs. We need to return to the Word of God. The sad part is, God called a people; He called Seventh-day Adventists out of darkness into light, and we are beginning to make a miserable mess of it. He is going to poll each one of us individually, to see where we stand.

Jesus is coming. He is going to come whether we like it or not, whether we are ready or not. We can have all of the opinionated ideas we want, but unless they are based upon God’s Word they are useless.

We need to be studying line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. The Bible has not been written in a consecutive type order. You have to search. If we study line upon line, and precept upon precept, the Holy Spirit will show us what truth is and what life is.

A Time to Weep

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose. . .
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up. . .
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.…”
–Ecclesiastes 3:1–4

Have you been troubled and confused over the Bible verses about dancing? What do these verses mean? Many are using these verses to bring in celebration. Do you understand these verses? Can you give a reason for your faith?

The first point we need to understand, in this study, is that the type of dancing we have today and the type of dancing in Bible times do not compare at all. Look at what Ellen White says in Adventist Home, 517: “David’s dancing in reverent joy before God has been cited by pleasure lovers in justification of the fashionable modern dance, but there is no ground for such an argument.…The music and dancing in joyful praise to God at the removal of the ark had not the faintest resemblance to the dissipation of modern dancing. The one tended to the remembrance of God and exalted His holy name. The other is a device of Satan to cause men to forget God and to dishonor Him.”

Now, laying aside that the style of dancing today is not what is represented in the Bible, we will go forward to look at the time and place of dancing in the Bible.

A Time to Dance—After a Day of Victory

In Exodus 15, Miriam sang and danced to the Lord after the destruction of the wicked. In Judges 11, Jephthah’s daughter sang and danced after the Lord delivered them in battle. In 1 Samuel 21:11, the people sang and danced, “saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?” In these verses the time for dancing is clearly after a day of deliverance or victory. We can conclude that dancing is symbolic of the joy of the redeemed after salvation and deliverance.

Dancing— After the Destruction of the Wicked

“As the Hebrews witnessed the marvelous work of God in the destruction of the Egyptians, they united in an inspired song of lofty eloquence, and grateful praise. Miriam, the sister of Moses, a prophetess, led the women in music.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 236. “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, ‘Sing ye to the LORD, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.’” Exodus 15:20–21.

David’s Dancing a Song of Deliverance

And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto His place, which He had prepared for it.…Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw King David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.” 1 Chronicles 15:3, 28, 29.

Victory—After Destruction of the Enemy

“So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel. And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.” Judges 11:32–34.

“And the servants of Achish said unto him, ‘Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?’” 1 Samuel 21:11. “Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?” 1 Samuel 29:5.

A Time to Mourn Day of Atonement

In the timeline of the Sanctuary, the Day of Atonement was a day to mourn, a day to sigh and cry.

“…on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.” Leviticus 16:30, 31.

“It shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls.” Leviticus 23:27.

In What Day Do We Live?

“Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” James 4:8, 9.

“…pine away for your iniquities, and mourn.…” Ezekiel 24:23.

“…they…shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity.” Ezekiel 7:16.

“We are now living in the solemn period of the antitypical Day of Atonement. In the type, the sins of the people were, on the atonement day, to be called to mind and repented of. It was a time of humiliation and affliction of soul.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 5.

This tells us it is time to sigh and cry, the time to mourn, not dance.

Is This a Day to Celebrate?

Ezekiel 9:4–6 tells us those who sigh and cry are sealed for salvation and those who are not sighing and crying are slaughtered with the sword.

Does This Sound Like a Day to Celebrate?

“Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished: It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth?…Cry and howl, son of man…terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon My people: smite therefore upon thy thigh.” Ezekiel 21:9–12. “Son of man…prophesy against the land of Israel, And say…Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.…Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.” Ezekiel 21:2–6.

Celebrate Now— Mourn Later— at the Wrath of God

“In that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: And behold joy and gladness.…” Isaiah 22:12, 13.

Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.” Luke 6:25.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that…I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head.…Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.…” “The Lord GOD of hosts is He that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn.…” Amos 8:9–11; 9:5.

“The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their musik. The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. The crown is fallen from our head…Thou hast utterly rejected us; Thou art very wroth against us.” Lamentations 5:14–16, 22.

Mourn and Cry in Repentance

“We are now living in the solemn period of the antitypical Day of Atonement. In the type, the sins of the people were, on the atonement day, to be called to mind and repented of. It was a time of humiliation and affliction of soul.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 5.

Mourn That God’s Wrath May Be Turned Away

“Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent Him of the evil that He hath pronounced against you.” Jeremiah 26:13.

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.…” “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil.…Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation.…Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, ‘Spare Thy people, O LORD, and give not Thine heritage to reproach.…’”
Joel 2:1, 2, 12–17.

“Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.” Joel 1:13, 14.

Go Not to the House of Feasting—Celebration

“Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.” Jeremiah 16:8, 9.

“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting.…Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Ecclesiastes 7:2–4.

A Time to Celebrate

In the Sanctuary service, the Feast of Tabernacles comes after the Day of Atonement. A time of sighing and crying comes first, then comes the day of celebration.

Celebration Comes After We Are in Heaven

“The feast of tabernacles was the great holiday of the nation. This feast was preceded by a day of atonement…when every one was to afflict his soul by confessing his sins.…This humiliation was to prepare the way for the celebration of the feast of tabernacles.” Review and Herald, July 7, 1896. “The Feast of Tabernacles…celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering.…The people of Israel praised God at the Feast of Tabernacles, as they called to mind His mercy in their deliverance.…They rejoiced also in the consciousness of pardon and acceptance, through the service of the day of atonement, just ended.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 541, 542.

In Heaven Our Mourning is Turned to Joy—Dancing

The Bible tells us God’s people will first mourn, then He will deliver His people and turn their mourning into joy. It is in heaven that we will celebrate. It is in heaven that we will experience the joy the Bible dance represents.

“Behold, I will…gather them from the coasts of the earth,…a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble.…Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion,…and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:8, 9, 12, 13.

“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” Psalms 30:11. “Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11.

A Time to Dance

In Psalms 149 and 150, David talks about dancing in the sanctuary. Many are using these verses as proof to bring dancing into the church services. What do these verses mean? Can you give a reason for your faith? We have already clarified that dancing in the Bible is much different than the dancing we have today. Dancing in the Bible represents the joy of the redeemed in the day of their salvation. Now we will look at the time and place of David’s dancing in the Psalms.

“Sing unto the Lord a new song.” Psalm 149:1. Does the Bible give us a time and place to sing “a new song“? We are told the 144,000 sing “a new song,” the song of Moses.

“Upon the crystal sea before the throne…are gathered the company that have ‘gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image’…And they sing ‘a new song’ before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb,—a song of deliverance.” The Great Controversy, 648, 649.

This song is sung in heaven, after the great day of deliverance and victory. Now we can understand David’s song of dancing in Psalms 149 and 150. The “new song” that David is talking about is after the great day of victory, the great day of judgment upon the wicked.

Song of Moses—Heaven’s Victory Song

“O sing unto the LORD a new song; for He hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory. The LORD hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath He openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.…Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalms 98:1, 2, 4.

“Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in Him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name in the dance: let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD taketh pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all His saints. Praise ye the LORD.” Psalm 149.

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise Him with the psaltery and harp. Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” Psalm 150.

In this last chapter of Psalms, David sings praises to God for the final destruction of the wicked. The dance here does not apply to the Day of Atonement. The time and place here is when the wicked are destroyed. Do not let anyone fool you into thinking we are in the day of Celebration.

A Time to Clap Your Hands

Is the clapping of hands to be a part of worship? The Bible speaks of God’s people clapping their hands. Are these verses literal, or are they also symbolic of the joy of the redeemed? Isaiah 55:12 says, “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

“The psalmist calls upon the trees to praise the Lord; and the prophet Isaiah declares that all the trees of the field shall clap their hands in that day when the word of the Lord shall have accomplished its work of salvation among men.” Signs of the Times, February 2, 1882.

This clearly shows that the clapping of hands is symbolic of joy, the joy of the redeemed in the day of their salvation. Just like the verses about dancing, this shows the time and place is clearly after the day of victory and deliverance.

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; He is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us…God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King.…” “Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.” Psalms 47:1–6; 48:11.

Lift Your Hands to the Lord

Are we to lift our hands and sway our bodies in song to praise the Lord? What does the Bible say is the time and place to lift our hands?

“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2.

“The LORD is good unto them that…quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence.…Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” Lamentations 3:25, 26, 28, 40, 41.

These verses are about prayer, not about singing with your hands up in the air.

“And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God, And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head.…” Ezra 9:5, 6.

“And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” Nehemiah 8:6.

Based on this verse, if you want to follow the Biblical lifting of hands you must do it on your knees with your face to the ground.

“Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD, in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven.”

“And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying…he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.” 1 Kings 8:22, 54.

Praise the Lord, that, from His Word, we can find the answer!

Dancing Fanaticism—A False Spirit

“I am telling you these experiences, in order that you may know what we have passed through.…
Some fanatics after 1844 would dance up and down, singing, ‘Glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory.’ Sometimes I would sit still until they got through, and then I would rise and say, ‘This is not the way the Lord works. He does not make impressions in this way. We must direct the minds of the people to the Word as the foundation of our faith.’

“I was but a mere child at that time, and yet I had to bear my testimony repeatedly against these strange workings. And ever since that time I have sought to be very, very careful lest something of this sort should come in again among our people. Any manifestation of fanaticism takes the mind away from the evidence of truth—the Word itself.

“You might take a consistent course, but those who would be influenced by you might take a very inconsistent course, and, as a result, we should very soon have our hands full of something that would make it almost impossible to give unbelievers the right impression of our message and work. We must go to the people with the solid Word of God; and when they receive that Word, the Holy Spirit may come, but it always comes, as I have stated before, in a way that commends itself to the judgment [reasoning, not emotions] of the people. In our speaking, our singing, and in all our spiritual exercises, we are to reveal that calmness and dignity and godly fear that actuates every true child of God.

“There is constant danger of allowing something to come into our midst that we may regard as the workings of the Holy Spirit, but that in reality is the fruit of a spirit of fanaticism. So long as we allow the enemy of truth to lead us into a wrong way, we cannot hope to reach the honest in heart with the Third Angel’s Message. We are to be sanctified through obedience to the truth. I am afraid of anything that would have a tendency to turn the mind away from the solid evidences of the truth as revealed in God’s Word. I am afraid of it; I am afraid of it. We must bring our minds within the bounds of reason, lest the enemy so come in as to set everything in a disorderly way. There are persons of an excitable temperament who are easily led into fanaticism; and should we allow anything to come into our churches that would lead such persons into error, we would soon see these errors carried to extreme lengths, and then because of the course of these disorderly elements, a stigma would rest upon the whole body of Seventh-day Adventists.

“I have been studying how to get some of these early experiences into print again, so that more of our people may be informed, for I have long known that fanaticism will be manifest again, in different ways. We are to strengthen our position by dwelling on the Word, and by avoiding all oddities and strange exercisings that some would be very quick to catch up and practice.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 42–44.

“Ellen White recounts early experiences. . . . She told incident after incident connected with her early labors shortly after the passing of the time in 1844.…As Sister White continued, she told of some who had strange exercisings of the body and of others who were governed largely by their own impressions. Some thought it wrong to work. Still others believed that the righteous dead had been raised to eternal life. A few sought to cultivate a spirit of humility by creeping on the floor, like little children. Some would dance, and sing ‘glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory,’ over and over again. Sometimes a person would jump up and down on the floor, with hands uplifted, praising God; and this would be kept up for as long as half an hour at a time. Among those who took part in these extraordinary forms of fanaticism were some who had once been faithful, god-fearing brethren and sisters. The strange exercisings of body and mind were carried to such lengths that in a few places the officers of the law felt compelled to restrain them by casting them into prison. The cause of God was thus brought into disrepute and it took years to outlive the influence that these exhibitions of fanaticism had upon the general public.” Ibid., Book 3, 370, 371.

“Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 38.

[All emphasis added.]